A Reason To Like Mosquitoes?

A Reason To Like Mosquitoes?

According to scientists at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, a newly identified protein found in mosquitoes may also be effective at fighting viral infections in humans.

After biting and consuming a meal, mosquitoes produce a protein called AEG12 that allows them to digest red blood cells. That same protein also plays a role in a mosquito’s immune response to infection by inhibiting viral replication. It does this by destroying the lipid portion of a membrane that holds enveloped viruses together. Although AEG12 works best against a family of viruses called flaviviruses – which includes those that cause dengue, Zika, yellow fever, and West Nile – it also shows a lesser degree of activity against coronaviruses and lentivirus.

Further research and bioengineering of AEG12 could potentially lead to a new class of therapeutics against viruses that cause illness in millions of people around the world.

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