Analysis of potential dengue vaccine impact in Yucatán Mexico.

31st May 2016 • comment

An estimate of the global economic burden of dengue by country and super-region 

18th April 2016 • comment

This paper looks at the true cost of dengue fever

14th April 2016 • comment

Using Wolbachia for dengue control may have an unintended consequences in that this study appeas to show that higher West Nile Virus infection rates in Wolbachia-infected mosquitoes.  The authors suggest that caution should be applied before releasing Wolbachia-infected insects as part of a vector-borne disease control programme. Abstract Novel strategies are required to control mosquitoes and the pathogens they transmit. One attractive approach involves maternally inherited endosymbiotic Wolbachia bacteria. After artificial infection with Wolbachia, many mosquitoes become refractory to infection and transmission of diverse pathogens. We evaluated the effects of Wolbachia (wAlbB strain) on infection, dissemination and transmission of West Nile virus (WNV) in the naturally uninfected mosquito Culex tarsalis, which is an important WNV vector in North America. After inoculation into adult female mosquitoes, Wolbachia reached high titers and disseminated widely to numerous tissues including the head, thoracic flight muscles, fat body and ovarian follicles. Contrary to other systems, Wolbachia did not inhibit WNV in this mosquito. Rather, WNV infection rate was significantly higher in Wolbachia-infected mosquitoes compared to controls. Quantitative PCR of selected innate immune genes indicated that REL1 (the activator of the antiviral Toll immune pathway) was down regulated in Wolbachia-infected relative to control mosquitoes. This is the first observation of Wolbachia-induced enhancement of a human pathogen in mosquitoes, suggesting that caution should be applied before releasing Wolbachia-infected insects as part of a vector-borne disease control program.

9th March 2014 • comment