K-State researchers take aim at Zika mosquitoes

Researchers from Kansas State University's Biosecurity Research Institute in Manhattan are examining Zika-carrying mosquitoes and providing samples of the Zika virus to collaborative organizations for further study.

While Kansas State has had laboratory isolates of the Zika virus for years, scientists with the university have recently been growing new samples of the virus and providing them to other Zika research efforts geared toward creating vaccines and enhancing diagnostic capabilities.

At the research institute, university scientists are also accumulating data about how the Zika virus infects mosquitoes. Areas of interest include the span of time a mosquito can spread the virus after a blood meal and how much virus needs to be present in the blood of humans to transfer the virus to mosquitoes.

"Countries are spending resources to control the spread of mosquitoes, we want to make sure we are controlling the right mosquitoes in the right way," said Stephen Higgs, PhD, director of the BRI. "This research can help us target the particular species of mosquitoes that we know are carriers of Zika virus."

More articles on the Zika virus: 
At-risk communities receive $25M boost from CDC to fight Zika  
Number of Zika cases in US nears 1,000; 7 babies born with Zika-related birth defects  
Study finds Zika virus may affect infants without microcephaly 

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