The zika virus outbreak has been covered extensively in mainstream news as of late, and for good reason. This mosquito-borne disease can cause a slew of discomforting symptoms to the average person, but there are individuals who are more at risk, like the pregnant. Birth defects and brain abnormalities are just some of the outcomes for babies infected with this virus. We at Bel Marra feel we need to keep our readers apprised of the relevant information. You will find information on zika virus vaccines, zika virus prevention, and the virus’s relation to Lyme disease.
3 possible Zika virus vaccines found effective in monkeys
Researchers have found that three experimental vaccines against Zika virus proved to be effective in trials on monkeys. Human trials have not been conducted yet, but positive results in monkeys mean an important advance in Zika vaccine development.
Using non-human primates is an effective way to assess potential effectiveness and safety of a vaccine in humans. Researcher Dr. Dan Barouch explained, “This gives us substantial optimism moving into human trials.”
Other Zika vaccination studies are underway as well.
Earlier this month. U.S. health officials announced the start of clinical trials on humans for a Zika vaccine. The DNA-based vaccine contains genetic particles of Zika virus that trigger an immune response. Continue reading…
Zika virus prevention with green tea molecule epigallocatechin (EGCG) shows potential: Study
Zika virus prevention with green tea molecule epigallocatechin (EGCG) shows potential, according to research. EGCG blocks the Zika virus in the host cells – which may be beneficial at preventing Zika. The authors wrote, “The mechanism by which this inhibition occurs is probably related to the direct interaction of the drug with lipid envelope, leading to a subsequent destruction of the virus particle.”
Zika virus continues to spread threatening to turn into an epidemic, and with the Rio Olympic Games right around the corner, there is a strong need for definitive preventative measures directed at Zika virus.
EGCG has been found to show activity against other viruses, including HIV, by not letting the virus into the host cells. Using the Brazilian strain of Zika virus, the researchers infected cells in a laboratory setting and mixed the virus with different concentrations of EGCG. Continue reading…
Lyme disease vs. Zika virus, differences in symptoms, causes, and treatment
Lyme disease and Zika virus are known as zoonotic diseases, meaning they come from animals and spread to humans. Both illnesses are currently on the rise in the U.S. and worldwide, so it’s important to have a good understanding of each in order to effectively protect yourself and your family.
Lyme disease is transmitted through tick bites, while Zika virus is spread by mosquitoes. Both can lead to very serious conditions and complications. Lyme disease can be contracted in the U.S. where the habitats for the ticks that spread Lyme disease can be found. Zika, on the other hand, is mainly spreading through the Central and South America, and although there are some American cases, too, there is no local transmission, as of yet. Continue reading…
Birth defect risk in Zika virus depends on the timing of infection during pregnancy
Birth defects risk in Zika virus depends on the timing of infection during pregnancy, according to a new study. If Zika infection occurs during the first two trimesters of pregnancy, then the risk of Zika-related birth defects increases.
The researchers from the U.S. and Colombia looked at over 12,000 pregnancies in Colombian women. The study found that women did not have any infant abnormalities if they contracted Zika in the last three months of their pregnancy. On the other hand, 10 percent of the women in their last trimester had not given birth yet, so the research is still preliminary. Continue reading…
Zika virus can be controlled by changes in mosquito mating and gene expression
Zika virus can be controlled by changes in mosquito mating and gene expression. The new Cornell study is looking into possible mosquito mating modifications to induce a change in gene expression as a means to combat Zika.
Controlling the Aedes aegypti population is difficult as its bites are painless, it lives in close proximity to humans, and it can breed in small and often hidden water containers. Furthermore, this type of mosquito can build resistance against insecticides.
Once a mosquito is infected it stays infected for life, and when it reproduces the infection is passed on. This is where the idea of controlling mosquito mating came into play to stop the spread of infection through mating. Continue reading…