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New type of host defense against Zika, dengue infections re-vealed

Why is it in the news?

  • Scientists have identified a novel defense mechanism in the human body against certain viruses like Zika and dengue.

More about the news

  • The mechanism involves extracellular vesicles found in bodily fluids like saliva and semen. These vesicles contain phosphatidyl serine (PS) proteins on their surface, which compete with viruses for entry receptors, thus inhibiting viral infection.
  • This defense mechanism appears to specifically target viruses that use the PS receptor for entry, such as Zika, dengue, chikungunya, West Nile, ebola, and vesicular stomatitis viruses.
  • The presence of PS-coated vesicles in bodily fluids represents a previously unknown aspect of the body’s immune response to viral infections.
  • Further research is needed to fully understand the implications of this discovery and its potential for clinical applications.

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