Thursday, October 14, 2010

West Niles Virus by Jay Jenkins


West Niles Virus is a disease or virus that is caused by being bit by an infected mosquito. WNV was discovered in Africa in 1937 but didn’t arrive in the United States until around 1999. Peter Arensburger, the Assistant research entomologists in UCR’s center for Disease Vector Research and the Department of Entomology, is the scientist who led the research in a major breakthrough for treatment of West Niles Virus.

figure 1.

When WNV first entered the U.S. they found it first in New York. It infected almost 2,000 people. Scientists soon found that it was a serious illness. This new virus was sweeping the state. Experts believe West Niles is formed as a seasonal epidemic in North America that gets really bad in the summer and keeps going through the fall.


With the discovery of the West Niles Virus came the study of treatments and cures to help prevent the disease. At the head of finding treatments at the University of Cincinnati was scientist, Peter Arensburger. With the help of his fellow researchers he successfully sequenced the Genome of the mosquito that carries the West Niles Virus. By doing this Arensburger found out what makes up the birus and knowing this helps him develop a cure. Sequencing the Genomes also helped discover two other major diseases carried by infected mosquitos. Arensburger has also done work with malaria and yellow fever. Peter’s greatest work would have to be the sequencing of the Culex which he started working on in 2004. Arensburger says “ We can now compare and contrast all three mosquito genomes, and identify not only their common genes but also what is unique to each mosquito. Peter goes on to say that with the help of the discovery of the sequencing of the culen genomes they can compare mosquito genes to the reactions of the infections.

Journal/ Article Review:

This article describes the new studies of the scientist Peter Arensburger and his research team. It explains the work of sequencing of the genome of a infected mosquito. This helped link to other viral diseases and lead to better studies and more treatments.

1.Public Panic (2009) retrieved october 14, 2010
2.Research discovery may lead to breakthrough on West Nile virus (2010) retrieved october 14, 2010
3.What's West Niles Virus? (2008) retrieved october 14, 2010

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