Indian mosquitoes can transmit Zika virus infection: NIV study – Times Now

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Scientists have discovered that the Indian mosquito, when contaminated with the African strain of the zika virus(ZIKV), can transmit the infection to suckling mice. The study that demonstrated how the Indian Aedes Aegypti mosquito, notorious for infecting people with dengue and chikungunya, is vulnerable to the Zika virus was carried out by a team of scientists from the NIV, the National Jalma Institute of leprosy and other Mycobacterial Diseases, and a host of other research institutes. The findings of the study were published on March 29 this year in the journal Intervirology.

Indian mosquitoes can transmit Zika virus infection: NIV study

Indian Aedes Aegypti, notorious for infecting people with dengue and chikungunya is vulnerable to the Zika virus. |Photo Credit:&nbspThinkstock

New Delhi: Aedes aegypti, the notorious dengue mosquito is susceptible to Zika virus, says a new study. Scientists, including from the National Institute of Virology, Pune, have discovered that the Indian mosquito, when infected with the African strain of the Zika virus(ZIKV), can transmit the infection to suckling mice. The combined study that demonstrated how the Indian Aedes Aegypti mosquito, notorious for infecting people with dengue and chikungunya, is vulnerable to the Zika virus was carried out by a team of scientists from the NIV, the National Jalma Institute of leprosy and other Mycobacterial Diseases, and a host of other research institutes.

“This study has shown that Indian mosquitoes pick up ZIKV naturally. We have their vulnerability to ZIKV when injected with it,” Dr Devendra Maurya, Director of NIV, told the Indian Express. As part of the experiment, they used infant and suckling mice bitten by ZIKV-infected mosquitoes. “We wanted to check how much time it took for the virus to replicate – cross the stomach gut barrier to the saliva, and through experiments, we found that the Indian mosquito is very susceptible to the Zika virus,” Dr Mourya added.

Few days after being bitten by the ZIKV contaminated mosquitoes, symptoms such as trembling, isolated behaviour, signs related to the nervous system, lethargic movements were noticed in the infant mice. The mice became stagnant during terminal stages of the illness and were euthanized. Later, their organs were removed and examined for the presence of ZIKV, in which high amount of the African strain of the Zika virus was recorded. The mosquitoes are said to be harbouring the virus in their salivary glands which makes it easier to transmit.

“All possibilities regarding the virus needs to be examined. Knowledge regarding the reproduction cycle of the virus through higher levels of research will be gathered. Since the data from the said study determines the high rate of susceptibility in mice and hence a better understanding about the virus’ natural transmission and progression will be determined through a suitable model.” quipped Dr Maurya.

The findings of the study were published on March 29 this year in the journal Intervirology.



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