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Viral protein which makes dengue fatal discovered by US scientists
In a new discovery by the scientists from University of California, Berkeley a viral protein has been identified, which is vital in making dengue infections fatal. The viral protein which has been discovered is responsible for fluid loss and the resulting shock.

Till now there is no available vaccine for dengue, which infects more than 390 million people every year. But with this discovery the scientists got a new potential target for drug and vaccine research.

This study was published in Science Translational Medicine where the scientists explained that the dengue virus infects a particular protein secreted by the cells and this becomes the prime cause of dengue infection. The protein is known as nonstructural protein NS1, and this is one of the 10 viral proteins secreted by infected cells, which enter the bloodstream.

According to the researchers, the main challenge in making an effective vaccine against dengue is that there are four serotypes or variations of the virus that cause disease. An initial infection with one of the four serotypes of dengue virus can provide long-term immunity for that specific virus type, but only short-term immunity against the rest. So, the person is at greater risk for more severe disease from a subsequent infection.

Across the world, researchers are struggling to find ways to prevent dengue infections spread by Aedes mosquitoes. According to estimates from the World Health Organization (WHO), roughly half million cases of dengue haemorrhagic fever and dengue shock syndrome occur annually, killing 22,000 people. But this new study has opened up a new hope to fight with this deadly fever.

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