tropical diseases

The placenta supplies nutrition and oxygen to growing babies during pregnancy, as well as removing waste products from the baby’s blood. But scientists have discovered that the Zika virus can infect and replicate in immune cells from the placenta, without killing them. The finding could explain how the virus is able to pass through the… Read more

An emergency study has identified what could be a biological link between Zika virus and a rare birth defect that leaves newborns with undersized heads and brains. Researchers report after working, sometimes around the clock, with lab-grown cells over the past month, that Zika attacks the type of cell that forms the brain’s cortex, or… Read more

As Zika fear rises, especially in the wake of the World Health Organization last night declaring a state of public health emergency, people are inevitably asking why we don’t have a vaccine to protect against the mosquito-borne virus. Zika is generally a mild illness, causing fever, rash and joint pain, which usually resolves within seven… Read more

Scientists have made a major breakthrough in the global search for a new drug to beat the malaria parasite’s growing resistance to first defence treatments. The deadly mosquito-borne malaria parasite kills around 450,000 children every year. Resistance to the world’s most effective antimalarial drug, artemisinin, has developed in South-East Asia, with fears it will soon… Read more

From October 2015 to January 2016, there were almost 4,000 cases of babies born with microcephaly in Brazil. Before then, there were just 150 cases per year. The suspected culprit is a mosquito-borne virus called Zika. Officials in Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador and Jamaica have suggested that women delay becoming pregnant. And the Centers for… Read more