About My Health Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us
Medindia LOGIN REGISTER
Advertisement

Deadly Encaphalitis Outbreak is Due to Single Mutation in West Nile Virus

by Jayashree on August 25, 2007 at 1:18 PM
Font : A-A+

Deadly Encaphalitis Outbreak is Due to Single Mutation in West Nile Virus

University of California researchers have found that the deadly encephalitis outbreaks caused by West Nile virus are a result of a single genetic mutation.

West Nile virus (WNV) is transmitted through an infected mosquito's bite and one may not experience any signs or symptoms except a skin rash and headache. However, some people who become infected develop a life-threatening illness that includes inflammation of the brain.

Advertisement

The virus which mainly infects birds, was not a serious threat to humans until the mid-1990s when deadly outbreaks occurred in Israel, Romania, Russia and eventually North America.

Aaron Brault and colleagues discovered that new strains of the virus have a mutation in the gene for helicase, a protein involved in viral replication.
Advertisement

Researchers suggested that the virus had a selective advantage as the mutation occurred independently in each strain.

As part of the study, researchers injected American crows with a weak strain of virus engineered to have the helicase mutation to confirm their suspicion.

The experiment found that the death rate was increased from 25 per cent to nearly 100 per cent and the rate of virus replication also increased, resulting in amount of circulating viral particles rising by a factor of at least 10,000.

'Mosquitoes feeding on these birds would take in more than 1 million viral particles in a meal. This would greatly enhance the efficiency of infection,' NewScientist.com quoted Brault, as saying.

Source: ANI
JAY/B
Advertisement

Advertisement
News A-Z
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Advertisement
News Category
What's New on Medindia
Effect of Blood Group Type on COVID-19 Risk and Severity
Woman with Rare Spinal Cord Defect from Birth Sues Doctor
Toothache
View all

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
Shigellosis West Nile Virus Zika Fever How Do Viruses Mutate and Why Does it Matter? 

Recommended Reading
Gene Therapy Treatment
Encyclopedia section of medindia gives general information about Gene Therapy...
Scientists Have Identified the Reason Behind West Nile Epidemic
Even as health officials warn against a West Nile epidemic in the United States this summer, ......
West Nile Fades in Some Areas of the US
Summer rains create ideal breeding conditions for mosquitoes; they present an ominous health hazard ...
How Do Viruses Mutate and Why Does it Matter?
Mutations are the sudden changes that occur in genetic materials. They occur as a part of evolution ...
Shigellosis
Shigellosis or Bacillary Dysentery is a common cause of gastro-enteritis worldwide and can cause blo...
West Nile Virus
West Nile virus is an infection causing agent transmitted by mosquitoes. Most of the infected people...
Zika Fever
Zika virus is transmitted to humans by infected mosquitoes which causes mild fever with maculopapula...

Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

© All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2021

This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use