Researchers discover novel approach to mosquito-borne disease

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. – As public health officials warn Floridians about an increased risk of mosquito bites during this very active hurricane season, researchers are identifying ways to target multiple mosquito-transmitted diseases.

Rather than anti-viral therapies which can become ineffective over time, investigators with Cleveland Clinic’s Florida Research and Innovation Center have discovered a different approach.

They’ve found that mosquito-transmitted viruses actually use a human enzyme to promote infection.

“And the fact that we identified this human enzyme is required for the amplification and infection of multiple mosquito-transmitted viruses as we have shown, Dengue, Zika as well as West Nile virus so, therefore, we think our approach is so promising because targeting this enzyme in the future, for example, using small molecule inhibitors could be effective against not only one virus but a range of these mosquito-transmitted viruses,” said Scientific Director Dr. Michaela Gack.

Gack said their findings bring scientists one step closer to understanding currently untreatable mosquito-borne illnesses which are an increasing threat to global human populations.


And an effective remedy for indigestion may already be in your spice rack.

A study published the week of Sept. 11, showed that turmeric had comparable efficacy to an over-the-counter medication used to reduce acid in the stomach.

Turmeric, which contains the compound curcumin, has been used in Southeast Asia for hundreds of years to treat stomach discomfort and other inflammatory conditions.

About the Authors:

Kristi Krueger has built a solid reputation as an award-winning medical reporter and effervescent anchor. She joined Local 10 in August 1993. After many years co-anchoring the 6 p.m. and 11 p.m., Kristi now co-anchors the noon newscasts, giving her more time in the evening with her family.

Veteran journalist Kathleen Corso is the special projects producer for Local 10 News.