NIAID Role in Dengue Fever Research

Friday, 30/09/2016

NIAID stands for National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Over the years, NIAID has helped in researching and solving many health related issues. Lately, NIAID has had a huge hand in the field of dengue related research and studies. Lately, as we know, dengue has taken a toll on our society’s wellbeing. Dengue fever is the infection caused by the infected female Aedes mosquito. Taking no precautions to avoid mosquito bites is the biggest reason why dengue is spreading like fire.

The Purpose

• Worldwide, approximately, 50 million cases of dengue patients occur each year, with nearly 22,000 deaths. In fact, many more cases do not get reported mainly due to lack of awareness. Therefore, because of the severity of this disease, research on dengue has become a priority for NIAID.
• For this, NIAID is funding nearly 60 dengue research projects. These research projects include studies on the most severe cases of dengue i.e dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF) and dengue shock syndrome (DSS).
• These projects are based on the discovery of dengue prevention programs, diagnostic tests and therapies for patients, lab based international surveillance as well as the development of dengue vaccines.

The work done under NIAID

The researchers under NIAID are now working rigorously for the search for an effective vaccine against dengue fever and infection.
• The vaccine concept that is currently being analysed by NIAID is a weakened recombinant version of the dengue virus.
• Apart from this, NIAID is also funding studies and experiments working to develop dengue vaccines using different dengue viruses, DNA, recombinant proteins and viral vectors. The importance of studying these dengue viruses is to analyse the different behaviours and traits and develop measures accordingly.

• Scientists that are supported by NIAID are working to analyse the pathology of dengue disease and to find and develop diagnostic tests for patients suffering from dengue. The main aim of these tests is to look for ways for early detection of the dengue disease.
• Apart from this, they want to be able to differentiate between the different types of viral dengue and find a way to predict which patients are at a greater risk of developing the more severe forms of the disease i.e DHF (dengue hemorrhagic fever) and DSS (dengue shock syndrome).
• To find fast, effective and specific diagnosis of dengue is very important for NIAID to be able to control the spreading of this disease and treat it accordingly.
• The investigators that are supported by NIAID are working to find different ways to treat the dengue infection.
• The Aedes mosquito, that causes the spreading of the dengue virus has been decoded and is now available to researchers by NIAID. Therefore, now they can conduct experiments on the species and get to know more about their breeding habits, their behaviour and their future generations to come.
• This kind of information will be helpful to the investigators in order to identify the mosquito proteins that cause the dengue replication as well as transmission from one individual to another. Therefore, this will help the investigators in finding ways to eliminate these proteins from spreading and thus, controlling the situation on dengue infection.

Conclusion

Over the years, there has been development is the case of dengue virus awareness. Ever since the outbreak of the dengue infection took place, this disease was taken a major toll on human beings’ health and wellbeing. But organizations like NIAID have come forward to do their best in order to minimize the effect of such virus on us and control the transmission for increasing further. Therefore, NIAID is supporting scientists and researchers to find ways to give the dengue infection a goodbye from our society. All we can do as citizens is to take the necessary precautions.

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