Tag Archives: dengue

Prospects for puppies with parvovirus: possibly pleasantly positive!

sick puppyAnyone who has worked at a vet clinic likely knows the nightmare called PARVO. Canine parvovirus is an extremely contagious viral disease that attacks white blood cells, can cause permanent damage to the heart, and is often fatal, even after expensive treatments. But thanks to geese, puppies may have a light at the end of the tunnel… and not that light!

While working on treatments for geese with West Nile virus, researchers at Avianax discovered that antibodies harvested from the yolks of goose eggs could be purified, put back into other birds, and effectively treat the animals.

Naturally, their next step was… saving puppies, of course! Incredibly, this new drug can work in as quickly as two days against parvovirus. So far, early tests are showing a 90% cure rate, and at a projected $75 a dose, this could be a game-changer! Trials will run through the fall of 2014, and the hope is that this treatment could be on the market by spring of 2015.

Avianax has also realized that these antibodies could potentially make a difference when it comes to treating rabies, dengue fever, bird flu, and some kinds of cancer. Human trials are considerably more expensive and time-consuming, so future studies are definitely further down the road, but this is something worth keeping an eye on!


Virus-blocking mosquitos to the rescue!

mosquitosIn an interesting example of animal research in action, it was found that mosquitos carrying Wolbachia bacteria cannot transmit dengue. So, mosquitos engineered to carry this bacteria- as well as transmit it to their offspring- were painstakingly hand-transported to an island off the coast of Vietnam (where dengue is a serious problem) in an attempt to replace the indigenous mosquito population. Read more in a post earlier this month: http://fbresearch.org/dengue-mosquitos-infected-with-bacteria/

People on the island are welcoming their new ‘pests’- they take care to allow these mosquitos to live, understanding that an increase in the Wolbachia mosquito population is critical! Researchers estimate that people on the island will be protected from dengue when the Wolbachia mosquito population reaches 80%- and in recent news- it’s up to about 65% and climbing!

Amazing! While researchers are still working on vaccines and treatments for dengue (of which there currently are none), this creative approach to the problem is a great example of animal research at work. In an attempt to save human populations, while introducing a bacteria that won’t do any damage to the ecosystem, this is a great example of ingenuity in research. Keep it up, guys!