Wolbachia-infected mosquitoes less capable of spreading Zika, chikunguya

With conventional vector controlling measures against dengue- and Zika-causing Aedes aegypti mosquitoes failing, several countries have started caged and even open field trials using genetically modified mosquitoes. India has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Monash University for using Wolbachia-infected A. aegypti mosquitoes for vector control. Dengue, Zika or chikunguya viruses cannot replicate when mosquitoes have been infected... Continue Reading →

Seventy-year journey of Zika virus

Zika is an arbovirus infection which occurs through the bite of several different species of Aedes mosquitoes, including the Aedes aegypti which is active during the day; it can also be transmitted sexually. The virus was first isolated from a rhesus monkey in Uganda in the Zika forest, near the western shore of Lake Victoria,... Continue Reading →

Ridiculous excuse for India’s shocking cover-up of Zika virus cases

It may well be said that the surveillance system put in place by the Health Ministry achieved a measure of success in identifying three adults who were infected with the Zika virus between November 2016 and February 2017 in Gujarat. Yet, the Ministry acted extremely irresponsibly by withholding the information from the local administration, doctors and the media.... Continue Reading →

Three Zika cases reported in Ahmedabad, India in Januray 2017

The dreaded Zika virus has finally reached the Indian shores. On May 15, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare reported to the World Health Organisation three laboratory-confirmed cases of Zika virus disease in Bapunagar area, Ahmedabad District, Gujarat. “This report is important as it describes the first cases of Zika virus infections and provides... Continue Reading →

Zika vaccine Phase I trial to begin next month in India

Bharat Biotech International Ltd in Hyderabad will start a Phase I clinical trial of Zika virus vaccine (MR 766) in two centres in India next month. The inactivated  vaccine being tested in humans will be an African Zika virus strain. “We have already got the approval from DCGI [Drug Controller General of India] in March... Continue Reading →

India begins caged trials of GM mosquitoes to control dengue, chikungunya

Outdoor caged trials to demonstrate the efficiency of genetically modified mosquitoes to suppress wild female Aedes aegypti mosquito populations that causes dengue, chinkungunya and Zika were launched on January 23 in Dawalwadi, Badnapur in  Maharashtra's Jalna district. Based on the results of the caged trials, which use the Release of Insects carrying Dominant Lethal genes... Continue Reading →

Top health stories of 2016

On the health front, the year 2016 witnessed a few setbacks and but also a few positive developments. Here are the most important health developments of 2016 1. Trial results confirm Ebola vaccine provides high protection The Ebola virus that killed more than 11,300 people in three West African countries — Guinea, Liberia and Sierra... Continue Reading →

No complacency on Zika

The World Health Organisation has declared that the Zika virus no longer constitutes a public health emergency of international concern. This brings to an end the heightened global focus on the virus that has caused about 2,300 confirmed cases of microcephaly (a birth defect manifesting in a smaller head size) since May 2015. The WHO... Continue Reading →

Zika vaccine trials on monkeys show promise

Tests involving three different kinds of Zika vaccines on rhesus monkeys have produced good immune responses and caused no adverse effects, raising hopes for the development of an effective vaccine for use in humans. None of the vaccinated monkeys developed infection when later challenged with Zika virus. Also, the transfer of antibodies at higher doses... Continue Reading →

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