What is the Dengue virus? And are You at Risk?
Dengue virus mostly found in the tropical areas and is transmitted through animal or insect bite/stings. The Dengue virus is mostly spread through mosquito bites. The Dengue virus can either cause Dengue fever or Dengue Shock Syndrome. Dengue fever is characterized by high fever, severe headaches, pain behind the eyes, severe joint and muscle pain, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, skin rash, and mild bleeding (i.e. nose bleeds, bleeding gum, or easy bruising). If dengue fever goes untreated it could lead to dengue shock syndrome. Dengue shock syndrome can be a result from dengue infection. Dengue shock syndrome causes increased vascular permeability, myocardial dysfunction and dehydration which in turn causes multi-organ failure. In this study, researchers analyzed the genetics 411 patients admitted with dengue virus infection to three hospitals in Thailand. The patient’s genetics were compared to the genetics of 290 healthy individuals admitted to the same hospitals. From the data collected researchers identified two genes related to blood vessel inflammation that confer risks of Dengue Shock Syndrome and four genes relate to drug metabolism that affect risk of Dengue Fever. The study's main purpose was to determine if different races had a higher risk for dengue inflections. The researchers concluded that Southeast and Northeast Asians are highly susceptible to both phenotypes, while African are best protected against Dengue Shock Syndrome and Europeans best protected against Dengue Fever but most susceptible to Dengue Shock Syndrome. I find this article interesting because with a greater understanding of the genetic correlations of Dengue inflections, research could be done find treatments to make individuals genetically less susceptible to the diseases. With a better understanding of the origin of the disease, treatments can be modified to attack the source of the disease not just counteract the symptoms. Also, the idea that the researchers focused on race susceptibility in interesting. I wonder how the results of this study how change when considering mixed raced individuals. Would these individuals have a combination of susceptibility/immunity? Or will these individuals experience adverse effects?