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Level of Dengue Virus Needed for Transmission Defined

May 14, 2013 Researchers have identified the dose of dengue virus in human blood that is required to infect mosquitoes when they bite. Mosquitoes are essential for transmitting the virus between people so the findings have important implications for understanding how to slow the spread of the disease. By defining the threshold of the amount of virus needed for transmission, the research also provides a target that experimental dengue vaccines and drugs must prevent the virus from reaching in order to be successful at preventing the spread of disease during natural infection. Dengue, also known as 'breakbone fever', is a viral infection that is transmitted between humans by mosquitoes. In most people it causes flu-like symptoms but in a small proportion of cases the disease can become life-threatening. Recent estimates indicate that there are 390 million infections of dengue across the globe each year and with no vaccine or specific treatment available, current measures to prevent the spread of disease are focused on controlling the mosquito vector. In research funded by the Wellcome Trust, scientists and doctors at the Oxford University Clinical Research Unit at the Hospital for Tropical Diseases in Vietnam studied the factors that influence the transmission of dengue viruses from dengue patients to the mosquitoes that feed on them. Their findings reveal that mosquitoes that feed on dengue patients with very high levels of virus in their blood are more likely to be infectious to other humans two weeks later. "Our findings suggest that focused public health intervention strategies to prevent transmission from these 'high risk' spreaders of the virus could have a major impact in slowing the spread of disease," explains Professor Cameron Simmons, a Wellcome Trust Senior Fellow at the Oxford University Clinical Research Unit in Vietnam. Although the levels of virus in patients who had been hospitalized by the disease were much higher, the majority of patients with mild symptoms who were treated at outpatient centres also had enough viruses in their blood to support transmission. "At the moment, dengue surveillance systems typically only count hospitalized patients but our findings confirm that less serious cases represent an equally important source of virus infection. Since these cases often remain in the community for the duration of their illness, it's important that we explore ways to prevent such patients from providing a source of further virus transmission," added Professor Simmons. The researchers hope that understanding the level of virus needed for transmission of infection will provide a useful reference point for the development of experimental drugs and vaccines and could be used to inform the endpoints for clinical trials evaluating such interventions.

Reaction: Dengue fever nowadays is all over in our country. It is quite clear that dengue fever has become one of the leading causes of fatalities in many nations all over the world. The disease is believed to be transmitted through a mosquito vector by the name Aedes which is transmitted to humans. The mosquitoes that spread dengue usually bite at dusk and dawn but may bite at any time during the day, especially indoors, in shady areas, or when the weather is cloudy. Mainly there are four different viruses that can cause dengue fever, all of which spread by a certain type of mosquito. Dengue can vary from mild to severe; the more severe forms include dengue shock syndrome and dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF). Patients who develop the more serious forms of dengue fever usually need to be hospitalized. There are currently no vaccines for Dengue fever. With this research, it will help you gain knowledge and inform you of recent epidemics of the virus. Without proper care in some severe cases, the victim may go into shock and death within twenty four hours. Dengue cases will grow within each year. The best way to prevent the disease is to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes altogeth er. Although there is no certain treatment for Dengue, it can be treated as long as it is caught before developing into dengue shock syndrome or dengue hemorrhagic fever. This kind of research will help us a lot since we catered patients having this kind of condition. We all know that being bitten by a mosquito might be fatal given that Dengue virus is present. Vaccination for this kind of disease is most likely important to be developed so that mortality rate of cases like this will be eliminated. At first, I didnt know that dengue virus can also be spread between humans by mosquitoes but through this research I finally knew about it. Therefore, the vaccine developed has to be highly effective in vaccinating against all the four serotypes of dengue. People of the society should also take personal responsibility of prevention and reporting any signs of the disease.