Skip to comments.Key Stage To Dengue Fever Replication Found
Posted on 08/03/2006 1:33:09 PM PDT by blam
Key stage to dengue fever replication found
15:29 03 August 2006
NewScientist.com news service
The discovery that the dengue fever virus needs to bend into a circle in order to replicate suggests new ways to treat this and similar diseases, including West Nile virus and encephalitis, say researchers. Future drugs that prevent the virus from forming a ring shape could one day save thousands of lives, they add.
The challenge now is to see if we can design a small molecule to do the job, says Andrea Gamarnik at the Leloir Institute in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
There are about 50 million cases of dengue fever globally each year, the World Health Organization estimates. The virus is spread through the bite of the Aedes aegypti mosquito and claims around 25,000 lives each year, many of them children. There is no treatment or vaccine available for the disease, which is dubbed break-bone fever due to the terrible pain it inflicts.
Gamarnik and her colleagues say they have found the key to the viruss replication and that this could be its Achilles heel.
It was discovered only recently that the virus, made of RNA, can change its shape from a long strand into a circle. It is able to do so thanks to special, short sequences on the ends of the strands that attract one another, acting like sticky tape, according to the researchers. But the importance of this shape was not clear.
Now Gamarnik has discovered that the particular viral enzyme required to replicate the virus is only able to recognise a ring-shaped structure. When the dengue strand forms a circle, proteins can latch on to the promoter region at the joined ends of the strand and, crucially, go on from there to replicate the virus...
(Excerpt) Read more at newscientist.com ...
Resisting the urge to make jokes.
Boy we are going to have the healthiest grasshopper eating, nothing to do population in the history of mankind. This is such good stuff.
I suggest working on a cure for American fatass disease and let these third world problems sit for a bit. We aren't getting overrun with Dengue are we?
"A dengue ate my baby"?
Interesting, from August.
thanks, bump & a ping
dengue ping...(thanks, neverdem!)
Interesting. Thanks for the ping.
This should be fun...epidemiologically being able to watch the disease spread from Mexico to the US in epidemic proportions. This bit of information will likely have medical usage in about ten years.
Have you read the Hot Zone? Research into these types of diseases is more important, when you remember how fast people can travel around the globe. Ever wonder why people are not allowed to bring animals, fruits and plants in on commercial flights? Have you read the recent stories about people illegally importing monkey meat in suitcases at airports? It can be bone chilling.