Friday, 22 June 2018

The Intelligent Designer Is Coming for American Babies!

Culex tarsalis
Vector competence of Aedes aegypti, Culex tarsalis, and Culex quinquefasciatus from California for Zika virus

Followers of my blog will recall how I have often commented on the efforts the putative Intelligent (sic) Designer puts into making life difficult or unpleasant for people.

In particular, the efforts it made to produce handicapped children by designing a virus which prevents normal brain development so babies who's mothers become infected with the virus are born with a condition known as microcephally and so will be mentally handicapped and dependent on others for their care, so blighting the lives not only of the victim but also those of the victims parents, siblings and maybe the entire extended family.

An essential part of the Intelligent (sic) Designer's design is the delivery system; in this case, as with some of its other designs like malaria, yellow fever and dengue fever, he uses the parasitic insect, a species of mosquito that had been designed to live by drinking human blood. This means the parasite can be taken up from already infected people and injected into new victims almost unnoticed. This makes it very difficult to prevent.

Now researchers have found that to make it easier to handicap the children of Americans, the Intelligent (sis) Designer has recently coopted another species of mosquito so it can extend its reach more victims. Their findings were published yesterday in PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases:

Abstract
Zika virus (ZIKV) has emerged since 2013 as a significant global human health threat following outbreaks in the Pacific Islands and rapid spread throughout South and Central America. Severe congenital and neurological sequelae have been linked to ZIKV infections. Assessing the ability of common mosquito species to transmit ZIKV and characterizing variation in mosquito transmission of different ZIKV strains is important for estimating regional outbreak potential and for prioritizing local mosquito control strategies for Aedes and Culex species. In this study, we evaluated the laboratory vector competence of Aedes aegypti, Culex quinquefasciatus, and Culex tarsalis that originated in areas of California where ZIKV cases in travelers since 2015 were frequent. We compared infection, dissemination, and transmission rates by measuring ZIKV RNA levels in cohorts of mosquitoes that ingested blood meals from type I interferon-deficient mice infected with either a Puerto Rican ZIKV strain from 2015 (PR15), a Brazilian ZIKV strain from 2015 (BR15), or an ancestral Asian-lineage Malaysian ZIKV strain from 1966 (MA66). With PR15, Cx. quinquefasciatus was refractory to infection (0%, N = 42) and Cx. tarsalis was infected at 4% (N = 46). No ZIKV RNA was detected in saliva from either Culex species 14 or 21 days post feeding (dpf). In contrast, Ae. aegypti developed infection rates of 85% (PR15; N = 46), 90% (BR15; N = 20), and 81% (MA66; N = 85) 14 or 15 dpf. Although MA66-infected Ae. aegypti showed higher levels of ZIKV RNA in mosquito bodies and legs, transmission rates were not significantly different across virus strains (P = 0.13, Fisher’s exact test). To confirm infectivity and measure the transmitted ZIKV dose, we enumerated infectious ZIKV in Ae. aegypti saliva using Vero cell plaque assays. The expectorated plaque forming units PFU varied by viral strain: MA66-infected expectorated 13±4 PFU (mean±SE, N = 13) compared to 29±6 PFU for PR15-infected (N = 13) and 35±8 PFU for BR15-infected (N = 6; ANOVA, df = 2, F = 3.8, P = 0.035). These laboratory vector competence results support an emerging consensus that Cx. tarsalis and Cx. quinquefasciatus are not vectors of ZIKV. These results also indicate that Ae. aegypti from California are efficient laboratory vectors of ancestral and contemporary Asian lineage ZIKV.

Author summary
Assessing the ability of common mosquito species to transmit Zika virus (ZIKV) and characterizing variation in mosquito transmission of different ZIKV strains is important for estimating regional outbreak potential and for prioritizing local mosquito control strategies for Aedes and Culex species. In this study, we evaluated the laboratory vector competence of Aedes aegypti, Culex quinquefasciatus, and Culex tarsalis that originated in areas of California where ZIKV cases in travelers since 2015 were frequent. We observed variation in infection loads between ZIKV strains in Ae. aegypti, but transmission rates were not different. In addition, there was a positive relationship between ZIKV RNA levels in infected mosquitoes ascertained from bodies and ZIKV RNA transmission rates. Our data add to the growing body of evidence supporting the role of Aedes aegypti as a ZIKV vector and refute Cx. quinquefasciatus and Cx. tarsalis as vectors.


It'll be interesting to see how worshippers of this putative Intelligent (sic) Designer explain why it seems to be so keen to produce mentally and physically handicapped American babies, especially in the southern states where it's support tends to be strongest and where health services for those most vulnerable tend to be minimal because they voted for a president who promised to take it away from them.

Stay tuned for further updates on the Intelligent (sic) Designer's progress as it finds more ways to harm people and designs work-arounds for any measures human medical science comes up with to prevent or minimise its efforts.





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