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Wolbachia: an example of natural protection against human disease

It is almost a decade since it was shown that a strain of the endosymbiont Wolbachia that infects mosquitoes can make them resistant to the malaria parasite. Wolbachia can also have an impact on dengue, Zika and other mosquito-transmitted diseases.

Wolbachia inhibits binding of dengue and Zika viruses to mosquito cells

Lu P, Sun Q, Fu P, Li K, Liang X, Xi Z.

Front Microbiol 2020; 11: 1750. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2020.01750. eCollection 2020.

As traditional approaches to the control of dengue and Zika are insufficient, significant efforts have been made to develop utilisation of the endosymbiotic bacterium Wolbachia to reduce the ability of mosquitoes to transmit pathogens. Although Wolbachia is known to inhibit flaviviruses in mosquitoes, including dengue virus (DENV) and Zika virus (ZIKV), it remains unclear how the endosymbiont interferes with viral replication cycle.

In this study, the authors carried out viral binding assays to investigate the impact of the Wolbachia strain wAlbB on the attachment of DENV serotype 2 (DENV-2) and ZIKV to Aedes aegypti Aag-2 cells. RNA i

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