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Current Affairs

Drug resistance in dengue virus

Date: 23 September 2019 Tags: Miscellaneous

Issue
Researchers discovered that the dengue virus changes its shape through mutations in envelope protein to evade vaccines and therapeutics.

 

Background

This study is a first step towards gaining more insight into how DENV2 reacts and adapts to the host's immunological defences.

 

Details

  • DENV2 (a dengue virus) exists as smooth spherical surface particles while growing at the mosquito's physiological temperature (29 degrees Celsius). It then changes to bumpy surfaced particles at human physiological temperature (37 degrees Celsius).

  • This ability to morph helps the virus to evade the immune system of the human host.

  • A laboratory-developed DENV2 strain, mutations in the virus’ E protein causes its transformation into bumpy particles.

  • These structural changes can cause vaccines and therapeutics to be ineffective against the virus.

  • It also helped to predict why particles from different DENV2 strains are more or less adept at morphing from the smooth to bumpy structures.

Scope

  • By better understanding the interactions between the virus and the host, scientists can develop better therapies and vaccines to treat or prevent infections, and contribute to public health outcomes.

  • This study is a first step towards gaining more insight into how DENV2 reacts and adapts to the host's immunological defences.