Cure Research for Dengue fever


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Research discussion: Scientists supported by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) are trying to develop a vaccine against dengue by modifying an existing vaccine for yellow fever. Researchers in NIAID laboratories in Bethesda, Maryland, are using weakened and harmless versions of dengue viruses as potential vaccine candidates against dengue and related viruses. 1

Scientists at Colorado State University recently produced mosquitoes that were unable to transmit the virus that causes dengue fever, a disease that affects tens of millions of people a year in more than 100 countries. A research team that included Ken Olson, Ph.D., Steve Higgs, Ph.D., and NIAID grantees Barry J. Beaty, Ph.D., Carol D. Blair, Ph.D., and Jonathan O. Carlson, Ph.D., injected mosquitoes with dengue virus and with a viral vector that had been genetically engineered to produce a molecule that blocks replication of the dengue virus. Mosquitoes in a control group were co-injected with dengue and a viral vector that lacked the replication-blocking molecule. Eleven days later, no dengue virus could be detected in mosquitoes that received the replication-blocking molecule. Control mosquitoes, on the other hand, produced large quantities of virus and their saliva was able to infect other mosquitoes. 2

Footnotes:
1. excerpt from Dengue Fever: NIAID
2. excerpt from NIAID Scientists Explore Genetic Solutions To Insect-Borne Diseases, NIAID Fact Sheet: NIAID

Last revision: May 27, 2003

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