_destaque, Notícias

Brazilian scientists have found a new zika virus-transmitting mosquito

According to the article, the findings point that the vector control strategies used for Aedes aegypti may need to be updated


If the control measures are not used against the Culex a global decrease of Zika transmission may not happen

When researchers Gúbio Soares and Silvia Sard, from the Bahia Federal University (UFBA), identified the Zika virus, in 2014, they would never imagine how the world would still hear about it. Recently an unprecedented discovery has shook the scientific world, when professionals at the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz) in Pernambuco isolated and sequenced the Zika virus genome collected from the organism of a Culex genus mosquito (black-winged stilt). In addition, for the first time, they were able to photograph using electronic microscopy, the formation of viral particles in the saliva glands of this insect. The article Zika virus replication in the mosquito Culex quinquefasciatus in Brazil was published on the Emerging microbes & infections journal.

The research was conducted in the Recife metro area, where the Culex quinquefasciatus population is around 20 times greater that the Aedes aegypti. The studys coordinator, Doctor Constância Ayres, from the Aggeu Magalhães Institute/Fiocruz Entomology department, the findings show several ways the Culex could be one of the Zika virus vectors in the city. The mosquito samples were collected from February to May 2016, in two types of places: where the zika cases were registered and in public emergency care units.

In August 2016, the article of the Brazilian Society of Tropical Medicine (BSTM) Black-winged stilts could be a danger for Brazilians already alerted that tests coordinated by Dr. Constância Ayres had detected the virus presence in some insects. By the time, public health researcher and head of the Aggeu Magalhães Institute/Fiocruz, Dr. Sinval Pinto Brandão Filho, explained that the arboviral diseases, transmitted by mosquitos, are direct and indirectly related to inadequate or poor basic sanitation conditions.

The findings mean that the control dimension can be far more complex, since the current control measures against A. aegypti should be maintained, but other ways to control the Culex must be developed. The Culex, unlike the Aedes, prefers dirty water, i.e., more than ever before immediate actions in basic sanitation in several regions of the Country must be implemented, reinforces the BSTMs elected president.

Dr. Constância explains that the genome sequencing will bring deeper knowledge about the circulating Zika lineages genetic diversity. This knowledge is necessary in order to develop vaccines and diagnostic kits, and to identify possible phenotypic variations of the virus, as greater virulence of pathogenicity, she stresses.

According to Fiocruz (PE), the next step is to assess the physiological and behavioral characteristics of the mosquito, in natural environments, to understand the role and importance of this species in Zika virus transmission.

Another important finding by Fiocruz PE: substance is able to block Zika virus

The finding of a substance able to block production of Zika virus in skin and neural cells, performed by researchers at the Virology and Experimental Therapy Department at Fiocruz Pernambuco, was also disclosed in August, in the International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents. The study was coordinated by Dr. Lindomar Pena, entitled The thiopurine nucleoside analogue 6-methylmercaptopurine riboside (6MMPr) effectively blocks Zika virus replication, shows the antiviral activity of 6-methylmercaptopurine riboside against the Zika virus currently circulating in Brazil. Since the 6MMPr has proved to be a promising antiviral candidate against the virus, the research will now follow to an in vivo additional evaluation.…