Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Zika may hijack mother-fetus immunity route

To cross the placenta, Zika virus may hijack the route by which acquired immunity is transferred from mother to fetus, new research suggests.

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Preventing a dengue outbreak at the 2020 Summer Olympics

In 2014, a dengue outbreak unexpectedly occurred in Tokyo. What does that mean for the 2020 summer Olympics and Paralympics being held in the city? Researchers report this week in PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases that new ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Deadly 'rat fever' in flood-ravaged Indian state

"Rat fever" has killed at least 12 people with another 54 suspected fatal cases in the southern Indian state of Kerala since August, after the worst floods in almost a century, authorities said Tuesday.

Immunology

Natural lipid acts as potent anti-inflammatory

National Institutes of Health researchers have identified a naturally occurring lipid—a waxy, fatty acid—used by a disease-causing bacterium to impair the host immune response and increase the chance of infection. Inadvertently, ...

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Dengue fever

Dengue fever (pronounced UK: /ˈdɛŋɡeɪ/, US: /ˈdɛŋɡiː/) and dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF) are acute febrile diseases, found in the tropics, and caused by four closely related virus serotypes of the genus Flavivirus, family Flaviviridae. It is also known as breakbone fever. The geographical spread includes northern Australia, northern Argentina, and the entire Singapore, Malaysia, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, Honduras, Costa Rica, Philippines, Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Mexico, Suriname, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Jamaica, Bolivia, Brazil, Guyana, Venezuela, Barbados, Trinidad and Samoa. Unlike malaria, dengue is just as prevalent in the urban districts of its range as in rural areas. Each serotype is sufficiently different that there is no cross-protection and epidemics caused by multiple serotypes (hyperendemicity) can occur. Dengue is transmitted to humans by the Aedes aegypti or more rarely the Aedes albopictus mosquito, which feed during the day.

The WHO says some 2.5 billion people, two fifths of the world's population, are now at risk from dengue and estimates that there may be 50 million cases of dengue infection worldwide every year. The disease is now epidemic in more than 100 countries.

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