Scientists Have Identified New Genes Linked to Dengue

by Venkatraman on Nov 7 2007 4:46 PM

Scientists have identified new host genes linked to the dengue virus infection, which may help develop a drug to treat the disease.

Researchers at the Novartis Institute for Tropical Diseases and the Genome Institute here, led by Subhash Vasudevan and Martin Hibberd, used micro-array technology to monitor genes to identify how humans interact with the dengue virus, the open access journal PloS reported.

Dengue is the most prevalent mosquito-borne viral disease affecting humans.

Each year, there are an estimated 50-100 million cases of dengue fever and up to 500,000 cases of the more dangerous dengue hemorrhagic fever or dengue shock syndrome.

Yet there is, at present, no drug treatment at all for the disease nor is there any validated host targets for therapeutic intervention.

The new research may aid in the discovery of new treatment targets that could be exploited to control viral replication.