(CTN News) – Recently, researchers at Washington University in the United States discovered the latest outbreak of the deadly Rift Valley Fever (RVF) virus and how it directly infects human cells. The discovery was done by virologist Safder Ganaie, a leading scientist from Kashmir.
Dr. Ganaie has discovered that the Rift Valley Fever (RVF) virus spreads via mosquitoes and enters human cells via a protein. Dr. Ganaie and his colleagues have also published their discovery in the journal Cell. The whole team found that the Rift Valley fever virus starts spreading after a mosquito bite and enters human cells through a protein that normally removes low-density lipoprotein, which carries ‘bad cholesterol’ from the blood, reported ANI, citing Kashmir Life, a Srinagar-based news magazine.
Additionally, it states that the discovery could lead to more therapies that can prevent Rift Valley Fever or at least reduce its severity. Rift Valley Fever (RVF) is listed as a priority disease that could cause epidemics by the World Health Organization. Rift Valley Fever is spread by mosquitoes among domesticated animals, which then pass it on to humans.
How was the study conducted on Rift Valley Fever?
By disrupting 20,000 normal genes with CRISPR technology, US-based virologist Dr Ganaie and his team conducted the study in collaboration with the University of Pittsburgh, University of Toronto, Harvard University, Broad University of MIT, and Harvard. After that, it was found that cells lacking LRP1 could not be infected by the virus.
Further experiments demonstrated that the virus uses the same protein to infect hamster, bovine, monkey, and human cells, indicating that it uses the same proteins across distantly related species.