Mosquito Saliva Enhances Dengue Virus Infection

12222013_1Dengue fever is a tropical infectious disease caused by dengue virus infection. In the January 2014 paper published in the Journal of Virology, researchers from Yale University has discovered that a particular component in the mosquito saliva can enhance virus infection.

On the right, it is a diagram depicting the effect of mosquito extract on virus replication: the black curve is after treating with extract, and the grey curve is with no treatment. The researchers have also gone on to investigate the effect of the mosquito extract in animal. The study further identifies a particular enzyme, called serine protease, in the saliva that helps enhancing the infection.

It is interesting to see how dengue virus is evolved to use the natural components of saliva to sense where it is and to maximize its productivity once it enters the mosquito.


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