A team of researchers developed six Zika virus antibodies that may help diagnose as well as treat the mosquito-borne disease.
Zika virus is a deadly disease that has infected more than 1.5 million people worldwide in the last few years. Researchers at the Loyola University Chicago generated sis strands of Zika virus, which could be effective in curing the disease completely. ,” Ravi Durvasula, Professor at the Loyola University Chicago and lead researcher of the work, said, “the antibodies may have the dual utility as diagnostics capable of recognizing Zika virus subtypes and may be further developed to treat Zika virus infection.
The antibodies are made using very inexpensive materials and can be used everywhere. It can be used in a simple filter paper test to detect the Zika virus, while still stationed even on field. If the filter paper changes color for the presence of Zika virus. Further research to validate the antibodies’ potential is still on.
The findings of the study were published in the journal PLOS ONE in December 2018. Using the technology called Ribosome Display, the team generated six synthetic antibodies that bind to the Zika virus. Zika virus can cause severe illness and during pregnancy can cause miscarriages, stillbirths, and severe birth defects such as microcephaly.
As the Zika virus is still evolving, it would be useful to have six different antibodies. Moreover, the antibodies neutralize, which means when it binds to the Zika virus, it prevents the virus from infecting cells, the researchers said.
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