Author Archives: Francesc Xavier Abad
The last two weeks news about the outbreak of norovirus on bottled water in Catalonia have flooded the headlines After the initial tumult, here is a briefing of the facts, with a few conclusions.
Zikavirus is an arbovirus, an arthropod borne virus, a virus transmitted by arthropods such as mosquitoes. Let’s be more precise; Zika is an arbovirus, an arthropod borne virus, a virus mainly transmitted by arthropods such as mosquitoes. But there are some secondary routes. Zikavirus, but also Ebola, for example, apparently very different viruses, have a transmission path, clearly secondary, but slightly surprising: the sexual route.
The Zika virus is an emerging virus (ZIKV), because right now it rides on Aedes genus mosquitoes colonizing new geographic areas, but it’s been around us openly over 60 years (it is noted on a recent study that the three variants that circulate nowadays, two African and one from Asia, have a common origin back in 1920, but we cannot go beyond that time) and probably hundreds or thousands of years in their natural hosts … which we have not yet fully identified.
There are a number of vector-borne diseases, those that are by arthropod vectors such as mosquitoes and ticks, which are becoming more likely in our regions as a result of globalization (especially in what it has to facilitate the movement of goods and people), and disturbances caused by climate change. One of these diseases with a high probability to finally settle in Catalonia is dengue.
Science can be done with a few resources but good ideas, better questions and a lot of brains. But much of modern science requires big infrastructures … and a lots of brains to use them.
This post has been published in Catalan and Spanish only, please accept our apologies.
Viral comments (18): Transporting infectious materials, Delivering on the cutting edge of the sword.
The transport of infectious material is an essential issue, but it is often left aside when the biological risk is been evaluated on a facility. A biosafety facility working with pathogenic agents, has been designed and operates to hold controlled, contained, these pathogenic agents, which can be propagated at very high concentrations.
The last viral emergences with impact in the mass media (Ebola, MERS – Coronavirus, Chikungunya) has been nurturing the need of a good practice in the design, use, maintenance of laboratories or facilities where it is manipulated pathogens with high riskiness and with severe consequences in case of its involuntary or malicious liberation. Therefore the importance to develop continuous training in this field.