West Nile virus infects a wide range of animals, including humans, horses, dogs, cats, bats, squirrels, rabbits and birds. It is widely distributed in Africa, the Middle East and Europe.
It was first reported in North America in 1999, when there were human fatalities in New York City. Since its arrival in the USA it has spread rapidly across the continent. The virus sometimes causes swelling of the brain, or encephalitis, which can be fatal. It is transmitted by several species of mosquito. Because the mosquitoes feed on so many different creatures the virus spreads quickly in areas where it has been introduced.
"Thousands of cases of West Nile virus have been reported worldwide, but 80% of infected people don't show any symptoms," said Dr Louis A Magnarelli, Director of The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station in the USA. "It is important to have highly sensitive and specific tests to diagnose infections and also to help track the ecology and epidemiology of West Nile encephalitis."
The US researchers have found that a new test designed to detect antibodies produced by horses is highly effective at diagnosing West Nile virus infections. Compared to the standard test for West Nile virus, the new test is much faster and gives accurate results. It was also useful in confirming past infections.
"Although the methods developed are for diagnosing West Nile virus in horses, the procedures can be easily modified to develop new antibody tests for humans and wildlife," said Dr Magnarelli. "It is essential to test wildlife for infection to determine the ecological and epidemiological aspects of West Nile virus infections in nature so that we can try to control the disease by managing mosquito populations."
Diagnosing West Nile encephalitis in ill horses helps to identify areas where the virus is spreading and to make decisions about vaccinating horses. Laboratory diagnosis can also clarify the cause of undiagnosed neurological disorders.
certain areas and how it spreads."
Lucy Goodchild | alfa
Biophysicists reveal how optogenetic tool works
29.05.2020 | Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology
Mapping immune cells in brain tumors
29.05.2020 | University of Zurich
In living cells, enzymes drive biochemical metabolic processes enabling reactions to take place efficiently. It is this very ability which allows them to be used as catalysts in biotechnology, for example to create chemical products such as pharmaceutics. Researchers now identified an enzyme that, when illuminated with blue light, becomes catalytically active and initiates a reaction that was previously unknown in enzymatics. The study was published in "Nature Communications".
Enzymes: they are the central drivers for biochemical metabolic processes in every living cell, enabling reactions to take place efficiently. It is this very...
Early detection of tumors is extremely important in treating cancer. A new technique developed by researchers at the University of California, Davis offers a significant advance in using magnetic resonance imaging to pick out even very small tumors from normal tissue. The work is published May 25 in the journal Nature Nanotechnology.
researchers at the University of California, Davis offers a significant advance in using magnetic resonance imaging to pick out even very small tumors from...
Microelectronics as a key technology enables numerous innovations in the field of intelligent medical technology. The Fraunhofer Institute for Biomedical Engineering IBMT coordinates the BMBF cooperative project "I-call" realizing the first electronic system for ultrasound-based, safe and interference-resistant data transmission between implants in the human body.
When microelectronic systems are used for medical applications, they have to meet high requirements in terms of biocompatibility, reliability, energy...
Thomas Heine, Professor of Theoretical Chemistry at TU Dresden, together with his team, first predicted a topological 2D polymer in 2019. Only one year later, an international team led by Italian researchers was able to synthesize these materials and experimentally prove their topological properties. For the renowned journal Nature Materials, this was the occasion to invite Thomas Heine to a News and Views article, which was published this week. Under the title "Making 2D Topological Polymers a reality" Prof. Heine describes how his theory became a reality.
Ultrathin materials are extremely interesting as building blocks for next generation nano electronic devices, as it is much easier to make circuits and other...
Scientists took a leukocyte as the blueprint and developed a microrobot that has the size, shape and moving capabilities of a white blood cell. Simulating a blood vessel in a laboratory setting, they succeeded in magnetically navigating the ball-shaped microroller through this dynamic and dense environment. The drug-delivery vehicle withstood the simulated blood flow, pushing the developments in targeted drug delivery a step further: inside the body, there is no better access route to all tissues and organs than the circulatory system. A robot that could actually travel through this finely woven web would revolutionize the minimally-invasive treatment of illnesses.
A team of scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems (MPI-IS) in Stuttgart invented a tiny microrobot that resembles a white blood cell...
19.05.2020 | Event News
07.04.2020 | Event News
06.04.2020 | Event News
29.05.2020 | Materials Sciences
29.05.2020 | Materials Sciences
29.05.2020 | Power and Electrical Engineering