Six new antibodies to combat Zika

Researchers, including one of Indian origin, have developed six Zika virus antibodies which may help diagnose as well as treat the mosquito-borne disease that has infected over 1.5 million people worldwide.The antibodies “may have the dual utility as diagnostics capable of recognising Zika virus subtypes and may be further developed to treat Zika virus infection,” said Ravi Durvasula from Loyola University in the U.S.Zika is spread mainly by mosquitos. Most infected people experience no symptoms or mild symptoms such as a rash, mild fever and red eyes.“The recent Zika virus outbreak is a health crisis with global repercussions,” said Mr. Durvasula.Antibodies could be key to diagnosing and treating Zika virus.An antibody is a Y-shaped protein made by the immune system. When a virus invades the body, antibodies bind to antigens associated with the bug, marking it for the immune system to destroy.

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