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Published on : Apr 18, 2014

In a breakthrough discovery that can change the way dengue is treated, scientists have identified a drug target for the deadly dengue viruses. This discovery may help pave the way for discovery of vaccines that can cure this condition that affects nearly 390 million people throughout the world each year. 

Scientists have used a new technique for this discovery to show that a region inside human cells where two proteins connect is the place where dengue viruses attack and where human antibodies attach to these viruses in order to disable them.   

This finding shows that most or all human antibodies that can neutralize the effect of the dengue virus attach to this region. The study has demonstrated that these regions where antibodies bind together can be genetically substituted without disturbing the integrity of the dengue virus. 

This research gives great insights about how human antibodies work and allows for the study of a lot of translational aspects of the discovery. 

The work for new vaccines effective from the current discovery has also already begun, enabling better treatment of this deadly mosquito-borne disease in future. 

At current, more than 40% people around the world are at a risk of getting bitten by mosquitoes and infected by the deadly dengue virus and an effective vaccine is highly desirable.