MSU Researcher Breaking Dengue Fever

Like malaria, dengue fever is an infectious disease transmitted by mosquitoes. Unlike malaria, there is no vaccine for it. As many as 100 million people contract dengue each year, but MSU researcher Zhiyong Xi is working to change that.

Among the estimated 2.5 billion people at risk for dengue, more than 70 percent live in Asia Pacific countries, which spurred Xi to establish a collaborative research institute at Sun Yat-sen University in Guangzhou, China.

There, Xi and his colleagues have made a promising breakthrough. They’ve determined that the Wolbachia bacterium can stop the dengue virus from replicating in the mosquitoes that are the primary transmitters of the disease.

Once the researchers pinpoint the mechanisms responsible for interrupting virus replication, they’ll be able to improve the efficiency of the interference—a critical step in breaking the fever.

SOURCE: PRESS RELEASE, MSU TODAY

  • MSU researcher Zhiyong Xi is serious about a treatment and cure for the deadly Dengue fever. Photo by: Jim Peck

  • MSU’s partnership is on display at the Sun Yat-sen University. Photo by: Kurt Stepnitz

  • MSU researcher Zhiyong Xi is working with Chinese partners in search of a treatment and cure for the deadly Dengue fever. Here he transfers mosquito larvae with a pipette. Photo by: Kurt Stepnitz

  • MSU researcher Zhiyong Xi is working with Chinese partners in search of a treatment and cure for the deadly Dengue fever. Here he inspects small cages filled with mosquitoes. Photo by: Kurt Stepnitz

  • A dishes brimming with mosquito larvae. Photo by: Kurt Stepnitz

  • A close-up of a tray full of mosquito larvae. They will be adults in 2-6 days. Photo by: Kurt Stepnitz

  • Electrophoresis equipment at Sun Yat-Sen University in Guagnzhou, China. Photo by: Kurt Stepnitz

  • A box filled with adult mosquitoes buzzes alive. Photo by: Kurt Stepnitz