US researchers trace a possible root of Zika infection

0
7

A doctor examines a larva of the mosquito Aedes aegypti, the bearer of the Zika virus, in a laboratory of the Ministry of Health, in San Jose, Costa Rica, on January 29, 2016. The World Health Organization (WHO) on Thursday said convene an emergency committee of the international health regulations on the Zika virus to ascertain whether the epidemic constitutes an international public health emergency. (Xinhua / Kent Gilbert) (jp) (sp)
A doctor examines a larva of the mosquito Aedes aegypti, the bearer of the Zika virus, in a laboratory of the Ministry of Health, in San Jose, Costa Rica, on January 29, 2016. The World Health Organization (WHO) on Thursday said convene an emergency committee of the international health regulations on the Zika virus to ascertain whether the epidemic constitutes an international public health emergency. (Xinhua / Kent Gilbert) (jp) (sp)

US scientists from the University of California, Davis (UC Davis) have developed hot spot maps of regions around the world that can help health authorities detect potential hosts of wildlife viruses mostly spread by mosquitoes and ticks .

A study by UC Davis researchers, published recently in the journal Nature Communications, said that the maps record information on wild species that have been identified as the most possible flavivirus as Zika, West Nile, dengue and yellow fever.

These viruses are known to be guilty of serious epidemics and diseases and death spread throughout the world.

Researchers at UC Davis reviewed all published data on wild-type flavivirus-tested wildlife by establishing an automated learning model that processed approximately 10,400 bird species and 5,400 mammals to identify the most likely species to host.

The instrument based on artificial intelligence (AI) was so powerful as to recognize 138 previously unrecognized dengue viruses on 173 host species.

"Tomorrow, if there is an epidemic anywhere in the world, we now know which species of wildlife are most easily infected in addition to humans," said lead author Pranav Pandi, one scholar of the School of Veterinary Medicine at UC Davis.

The study identified Europe as one of the regions of the world that has very diverse varieties of potential hosts of Japanese encephalitis, including many species of common birds.

He also predicted that wildlife guests in South America and Southeast Asia have the ability to spread the Zika virus in the wild.

Professor UC Davis Christine Kreuder Johnson, the study's lead author, said the model based on artificial intelligence developed by UC researchers identified nine of the 21 primate species as hosts of yellow fever or Zika virus.

Johnson said scientists hope to rely on the modeling technique to identify the most likely hosts for these viruses in their natural habitat, which is vital to overall health and wildlife conservation. Enditem