Public health vs. the mosquito: Pushing back against dengue : The Pump Handle

Whether or not genetically modified mosquitoes get added to Key West’s mosquito control toolkit, the recent re-emergence of dengue have officials looking for new ways to control the resilient bug. After decades without a single documented human case of locally acquired dengue, 27 such cases were found in Key West in 2009. In 2010, the locally acquired caseload jumped to 67, Fitzsimmons told me. A locally acquired case means the person was infected by a local mosquito and not due to travel outside the country.

And while no cases have been identified since, Fitzsimmons said it’s no time scale back control efforts. Because hotter temperatures speed up the development of adult mosquitoes, cause females to bite more often and shorten the amount of time the dengue virus needs to develop inside the mosquito, “whether or not dengue comes back can be the difference between a two- or three-degree change in the temperature,” she said. And the female mosquito that spreads dengue is particularly difficult and costly to control. The Aedes aegypti is well suited to human environments, laying it eggs in flower pots, buckets or birdbaths — “they don’t swarm, they just linger close to home,” Fitzsimmons said.

She noted that although the species of mosquito that transmits dengue accounts for less than one percent of the Florida Keys’ entire mosquito population, it takes up about 10 percent of the agency’s budget.

via Public health vs. the mosquito: Pushing back against dengue : The Pump Handle.


The Place to Head Off Malaria – NYTimes.com

The Myanmar government, in cooperation with WHO and other partners, has developed a plan to contain artemisinin resistance. But there is little external financial support for this.

Myanmar is undergoing dramatic change. A chorus of international approval has yet to translate into aid, which is still a small fraction of that received by other countries in the region with comparable levels of development. Over the past two decades, Myanmar has been left out of large-scale humanitarian and development aid for political reasons. Aid to contain this emergency is needed, and it is needed urgently.

Delayed intervention risks extension of the epidemic across the tropical world and the threat that even more serious levels of resistance could develop. At that point, the epidemic will be much more difficult and much more expensive to contain.

via The Place to Head Off Malaria – NYTimes.com.


Working out the bugs | Article | The United States Army

The AV-RDD is a hand-held device used to determine whether arthropods, such as sand flies and mosquitoes, are infected with pathogenic organisms capable of infecting deployed military personnel. This device can be used anywhere at any time. It is as simple to use as an over-the-counter pregnancy test, and provides results in less than half an hour.

“These products are not for use with human samples, so they do not diagnose disease in Soldiers that have acquired a disease spread by these various arthropods,” continued O’Guinn. “Instead, they are used to identify areas in which arthropod-borne diseases are present, so that commanders can determine which steps to take to either control the arthropods with pesticides or trapping, or mandate the use of personal protective measures.”

via Working out the bugs | Article | The United States Army.


Novel Transmission-Blocking Malaria DNA Vaccine Candidate Uses Vicals VaxfectinR Adjuvant – MarketWatch

The mouse-generated Pvs230 antibodies, incubated with P. vivax-infected human red blood cells and then fed to mosquitoes, statistically reduced the number of parasites and the infection rate in mosquitoes. A VaxfectinR-formulated malaria vaccine therefore has the potential to interfere with the transmission of P. vivax to humans through mosquitoes. This novel transmission-blocking approach may thereby protect the broader population from widespread malaria outbreaks. Further study of the vaccine candidate has been proposed by the authors.

via Novel Transmission-Blocking Malaria DNA Vaccine Candidate Uses Vicals VaxfectinR Adjuvant – MarketWatch.


VietNamNet – U.S. research points to possible new route to fight dengue virus | U.S. research points to possible new route to fight dengue virus

medications used to treat high cholesterol and other lipid-related conditions might also inhibit dengue’s replication and could represent a potential new therapy.

The researchers uncovered new details of how the virus alters lipids in membranes surrounding structures inside cells called organelles, including the mitochondria, which provide energy critical for a cell to function, and the endoplasmic reticulum, where proteins and lipids are synthesized.

The findings could apply to viruses similar to dengue, including the West Nile virus, yellow fever and hepatitis C.

via VietNamNet – U.S. research points to possible new route to fight dengue virus | U.S. research points to possible new route to fight dengue virus.


China tightens quarantine for malaria, dengue|Society|chinadaily.com.cn

From January to February, south China’s Guangdong province reported five recent entrants into the country suffering from malaria and three from dengue fever. The entrants came from Vietnam, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Mozambique, Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine issued an alert Monday, asking local quarantine authorities to tighten medical inspections and temperature monitoring on visitors from those countries.

Entrants who reported fever, chills, headaches or other symptoms of the diseases should be treated immediately, according to the alert.

via China tightens quarantine for malaria, dengue|Society|chinadaily.com.cn.


GenVec Awarded Grant For Antigen Discovery Project – Quick Facts

The work under this grant will build on the research that was started under a Small Business Innovation and Research (SBIR) grant from the NIAID in 2009. GenVec will be collaborating with the U.S. Naval Medical Research Center (NMRC) to apply its adenovector technology to the development of malaria vaccine candidates.

via GenVec Awarded Grant For Antigen Discovery Project – Quick Facts.