Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Malaria Researchers Identify New Mosquito Virus

Date:
August 22, 2008
Source:
Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health
Summary:
Researchers have identified a previously unknown virus that is infectious to Anopheles gambiae -- the mosquito primarily responsible for transmitting malaria.

Anopheles gambiae mosquito infected with GFP-expressing AgDNV.
Credit: Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health's Malaria Research Institute have identified a previously unknown virus that is infectious to Anopheles gambiae—the mosquito primarily responsible for transmitting malaria.

According to the researchers, the discovered virus could one day be used to pass on new genetic information to An. gambiae mosquitoes as part of a strategy to control malaria, which kills over one million people worldwide each year.

The virus, AgDNV, is a densonucleosis virus or "densovirus," which are common to mosquitoes and other insects, but do not infect vertebrate animals such as humans. Although the virus does not appear to harm the mosquitoes, the researchers determined it is highly infectious to mosquito larvae and is easily passed on to the adults.

According to Jason Rasgon, PhD, senior author of the study, the discovery came about serendipitously while the research team was conducting experiments to determine whether Wolbachia bacteria could be used to infect An. gambiae mosquito cells. During the analysis, Xiaoxia Ren, a postdoctoral fellow with Johns Hopkins Malaria Research Institute, noticed an "artifact," that appeared as a prominent band in the gel used to detect the bacteria.

"Finding artifacts such as this one during experiments is not uncommon, but we decided to investigate this one further since we kept observing it over and over. When we sequenced it we were surprised to learn that we had found a new virus," explained Rasgon, an assistant professor with the Bloomberg School's W. Harry Feinstone Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology.

According to Rasgon, the virus could be potentially altered to kill the mosquito or make An. gambiae incapable of transmitting malaria. To test the concept, the research team successfully used altered AgDNV to express harmless green fluorescent protein in the adult mosquitoes which could be easily spotted under the microscope.

"In theory, we could use this virus to produce a lethal toxin in the mosquito or instruct the mosquito to die after 10 days, which is before it can transmit the malaria parasite to humans. However, these concepts are many years away," said Rasgon.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health. "Malaria Researchers Identify New Mosquito Virus." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 August 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/08/080821211551.htm>.
Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health. (2008, August 22). Malaria Researchers Identify New Mosquito Virus. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/08/080821211551.htm
Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health. "Malaria Researchers Identify New Mosquito Virus." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/08/080821211551.htm (accessed July 22, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law

Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law

AP (July 22, 2014) Two federal appeals courts issued conflicting rulings Tuesday on the legality of the federally-run healthcare exchange that operates in 36 states. (July 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Newsy (July 22, 2014) The new sci-fi thriller "Lucy" is making people question whether we really use all our brainpower. But, as scientists have insisted for years, we do. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Find New Way To Make Human Platelets

Scientists Find New Way To Make Human Platelets

Newsy (July 22, 2014) Boston scientists have discovered a new way to create fully functioning human platelets using a bioreactor and human stem cells. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

TheStreet (July 21, 2014) New research shows Gilead Science's drug Sovaldi helps in curing hepatitis C in those who suffer from HIV. In a medical study, the combination of Gilead's Hep C drug with anti-viral drug Ribavirin cured 76% of HIV-positive patients suffering from the most common hepatitis C strain. Hepatitis C and related complications have been a top cause of death in HIV-positive patients. Typical medication used to treat the disease, including interferon proteins, tended to react badly with HIV drugs. However, Sovaldi's %1,000-a-pill price tag could limit the number of patients able to access the treatment. TheStreet's Keris Lahiff reports from New York. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins