Key scientific finding could change treatment and prevention of dengue and Zika

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They identified a new aspect of flaviviruses, the pathogens responsible for these diseases. Two Argentine researchers joined the expedition. Infobae spoke to one of them

The virus protection, which is thought of as a kind of wall, is actually offered as a hinged door.
The virus protection, which is thought of as a kind of wall, is actually offered as a hinged door.

A study by researchers, Center for Virology at the Medical University of Vienna and Paris Pasteur Institute they attended two Argentine scientists can change the way diseases cause flaviviruses like dengue fever , zika and tick-borne encephalitis where are the vectors mosquitoes They are the main means of transmission.

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As explained by this advance information one of the researchers Strategies against these diseases can be rethought, as can vaccines and treatments.

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“27 years ago, the first discovery of what the envelopes of these flaviviruses looked like was made, but there was a small regulatory gate that allowed the activity of what is known as a straight wall. We see something that is hidden and has scope in the future, which is to produce new technologies for the development of antivirals.. Today, for example, dengue and Zika have no effective vaccines and no good antivirals. But understanding how it works is fundamental to generating new technological advances,” he explained. information Mariano Dellarole of the Bionanoscience Research Center (CIBION – Conicet).

Aedes mosquitoes are vectors that transmit dengue, zika and yellow fever (Photo: Minsa Diffusion)
Aedes mosquitoes are vectors that transmit dengue, zika and yellow fever (Photo: Minsa Diffusion)
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In this finding, The researcher worked with one of the world’s most respected and well-known Argentines in this field, Félix Rey.. “The work is part of my postdoctoral work under his direction at the Pasteur Institute Structural Virology lab. he was a full man discovered the first structure of the envelope proteins (E) of flaviviruses and is now a stable member of the French Academy of Sciences. Discovery has been published Nature Communication.

what are flaviviruses

Diseases are known before the name of the virus. Is this flaviviruses are responsible for dengue, zika, yellow fever or tick-borne encephalitis.. Although they have been known for many years and have produced epidemics that have alerted national health authorities and international organizations such as the World Health Organization or the Pan American Health Organization, they still there is no effective treatment or vaccine for most.

This is what flaviviruses look like (Getty Images)
This is what flaviviruses look like (Getty Images)

Of these, yellow fever is the only vaccine that has low coverage rates in the general population (and focuses only on those living in areas where outbreaks are more common). “there are different flaviviruses some can be transmitted by ticks and others only by mosquitoes. aedes but at the same time culex (Culicidae). But it’s not just them, because many variants on vector the type of vulnerable population that transmits them, the symptoms and causes,” Dellarole said.

In this sense, the expert stressed the importance of “knowing what the behavior of this virus is in order to adapt to a particular entity or vector, because just as flaviviruses infect humans, there are others that infect animals and create other kinds of problems, and others that just continue to reproduce inside mosquitoes.” back then “We needed to understand how the virus adapted to live in an organism and moved from one side to the other.”

this format These viruses have ball . each has 90 E dimers (180 protomers or monomers), these are basically proteins. every 3 dimers E occurs a socket Y 30 slots pack, shape the entire surface a herringbone pattern.

“These viruses have envelopes of 50 nanometers in diameter and 90 dimers of particles cover. protein E which? envelope protein and protein fusion . It can be thought of as an E dimer. swing door seen in cowboy movies change pH they roll the dice, they rearrange, they merge and they fuse.”expert noted.

In this tone, “We we will discover formal How does a virus keep that swinging door closed? An intrinsic mechanism of these dimers that open or close according to changes in the pH environment”.

Left, an Aedes mosquito.  On the right is a Zika virus, namely a flavivirus (NIAID)
Left, an Aedes mosquito. On the right is a Zika virus, namely a flavivirus (NIAID)

In other words, By opening these doors, the virus can test whether it is in an organism that can be infected.. The person responsible for reporting this situation is pH, ie pH accordingly. how acid your environment will mature and virus particle He will trigger the disease by initiating fusion with cells. Otherwise it will close the doors and wait for a better “view”.

“This valve controls both viral entry or infection (membrane fusion process) and exit (viral maturation) of newly replicated flaviviruses in the infected cell. Also, we discovered how A bound protein called PR prevents new flaviviruses from fusing with the cell producing them. So before leaving. This a new paradigm and may lead to rethinking of some antiviral strategies”, highlighted Dellarole.

Yellow fever is the only vaccinated disease caused by flaviviruses / (iStock)
Yellow fever is the only vaccinated disease caused by flaviviruses / (iStock)

Flavivirus: What does this discovery mean?

Two key points can be made to understand how important this finding is. From now on, scientists can develop vaccines and meanwhile test effective treatments to treat the infection.

With this, from now on, most medicine will no longer focus solely on the treatment of symptoms, pathogen target .

this yellow fever It is super lethal and very dangerous and is superior to all flaviviruses. active vaccine , but not everyone is fully vaccinated and protected. And the epidemics that continue to occur in the region. For example, It was this disease that reduced the population of the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires by 8% in 1871. and there were a lot of epidemics all over America at that time. Another known flavivirus most zika has received emerging buds per year 2015 and caused microcephaly and miscarriages in pregnant women,” he said.

In 2020, when COVID hit the international scene, Argentina reached its historic peak of dengue cases, affecting nearly 60,000 people.
In 2020, when COVID hit the international scene, Argentina reached its historic peak of dengue cases, affecting nearly 60,000 people.

The best-known flavivirus disease dengue fever . Inside 2020 When COVID becomes the hero of the pandemic, this disease is its historical summit in argentina , with some 60 thousand cases in the whole country. According to the most recent epidemiological report on this disease, Between 2021 and 2022 there were “23 provinces reporting suspected dengue cases”being the sum of those reported during the study period, “Salta contributed 77% of confirmed cases, followed by Buenos Aires with 11% and Santa Fe with 3%.”. Meanwhile, the serotypes identified were 89% DEN-2 (one case in Salta, Córdoba and one case in Santiago del Estero) and the remaining 11%, DEN-1 (Buenos Aires and Santa Fe).

After this finding on flaviviruses: what are the next steps?

After the arguments of the Argentine scientist, there was no longer any doubt. This progress will be a before and after in the treatment of these diseases.. After learning how these viruses are activated and the mechanism they use to initiate the disease, science has New way for vaccines and treatments effective.

The photo shows the larvae of the Aedes mosquitoes responsible for transmission of dengue fever and Zika / EFE/Jaime Ávalos.
The photo shows the larvae of the Aedes mosquitoes responsible for transmission of dengue fever and Zika / EFE/Jaime Ávalos.

“Understanding the molecular mechanism that regulates infection, of course, allows for the development of new antivirals and a new understanding of how these viruses work and how they infect through vectors such as mosquitoes. Knowing the atomic map of a region that changes its structure depending on the environment and is key to the functionality of the infectiousness of these viruses is a key tool for the design of viruses. new antivirals strategies monoclonal directed or any means to attack and combat this scourgeDellarole assured him.

And he came to the conclusion:This is a very important paradigm shift, and like any paradigm shift, it opens the door to imagination on how to do it. Fight them for health . And all this understanding will allow many other experiments to try to understand how these small variations occur. different viruses infect and affect differently with different symptoms and different populations”.

In addition, it is worth mentioning. dellarole Y King was part of the investigation Marie-Christine Vaney, Stephane Duquerroy , iris meditation , Georgios Tsouchnikas , Alexander Rouvinsky , Patrick England , Karin Stiasny Y Franz X Heinz ; It belongs to the Center for Virology of the Medical University of Vienna and the Pasteur Institute of Paris.

Source: Info Bae

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