Their study also found that in experiments in mice, a class of drugs commonly used to treat asthma by targeting the mast cells could help treat vascular symptoms associated with dengue infections. The findings were published in the online journal eLife on April 30, 2013.
Wikipedia/Muhammad Mahdi Karim
An Aedes aegypti mosquito can spread dengue virus
Dengue virus is spread by mosquitoes and infects as many as 390 million people worldwide each year, according to new estimates published in the journal Nature. It is a significant health issue in tropical areas of the world including parts of Latin America and Asia, but Florida residents have reported cases in recent years.
No treatments are available for dengue virus, and serious cases can result in widespread vascular leakage and hemorrhaging.
In 2011, Duke researchers reported that mast cells, which help the body respond to bacteria and other pathogens, play a role in attacking dengue virus and halting its spread. This finding presented new avenues for research, given the existing classes of drugs that target mast cells or the products of mast cells once they are activated.
In one experiment in the current study of dengue virus in mice, the researchers found that certain classes of drugs commonly used to treat asthma are effective in limiting vascular leakage associated with dengue.
“It may not seem intuitive how asthma and dengue infection would be related and would respond to the same types of drugs, but because both diseases are promoted by mast cells, the cellular targets of the class of drugs is quite effective,” said lead author Ashley L. St. John, PhD, assistant professor of emerging infectious diseases at Duke-NUS.
The researchers continued to investigate the role of mast cells in attacking dengue virus in humans, and identified a biomarker – a mast cell-derived product – that appeared to predict the illness’ most severe cases in human patients.
Most patients infected by a dengue virus develop a high fever, dubbed dengue fever, and recover on their own. However, a small number of these cases develop into dengue hemorrhagic fever, a dangerous condition marked by serious complications, including bleeding, respiratory distress and severe abdominal pain.
Until now, doctors have not been able to predict who will develop dengue hemorrhagic fever. When the researchers studied blood serum samples from patients with dengue infection, they found that the levels of a protein produced by mast cells, chymase, were significantly higher in the patients who developed dengue hemorrhagic fever compared to those who recovered after dengue fever.
“In addition to revealing a potential new way to diagnose and treat dengue infections, these findings may have much broader applicability for other infectious diseases where vascular leakage is a major pathologic outcome,” said senior study author Soman N. Abraham, PhD, professor of pathology, immunology, and molecular genetics and microbiology at Duke Medicine and professor of emerging infectious diseases at Duke-NUS.
Other coauthors include Abhay P. S. Rathore, Raghavan Bhuvanakantham and Mah-Lee Ng of the department of microbiology at the National University of Singapore.
Funding was provided by the National Institutes of Health (R21 DA029731 and R01 DK077159), the National Medical Research Council of Singapore and the Duke-NUS Signature Research Program funded by Singapore’s Ministry of Health.
Rachel Harrison | Newswise
Multi-institutional collaboration uncovers how molecular machines assemble
02.12.2016 | Salk Institute
Fertilized egg cells trigger and monitor loss of sperm’s epigenetic memory
02.12.2016 | IMBA - Institut für Molekulare Biotechnologie der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften GmbH
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...
The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.
The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...
Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water
In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...
The efficiency of power electronic systems is not solely dependent on electrical efficiency but also on weight, for example, in mobile systems. When the weight of relevant components and devices in airplanes, for instance, is reduced, fuel savings can be achieved and correspondingly greenhouse gas emissions decreased. New materials and components based on gallium nitride (GaN) can help to reduce weight and increase the efficiency. With these new materials, power electronic switches can be operated at higher switching frequency, resulting in higher power density and lower material costs.
Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE together with partners have investigated how these materials can be used to make power...
16.11.2016 | Event News
01.11.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
02.12.2016 | Medical Engineering
02.12.2016 | Agricultural and Forestry Science
02.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy