Pathogens Catch a Wave on Mosquito Spit

Viruses such as dengue or Zika benefit from the inflammation caused by mosquito saliva, a new study in Immunity shows.

By injecting mice with a relative of chikungunya, researchers found that inflammation boosts virus replication and spread. The inflammation causes neutrophils and macrophages to respond— but once infected, microphages help spread the virus, ultimately increasing the mortality of the host.

Kai Kupferschmidt describes the infected macrophages well: “like policemen joining a mob they are meant to control.”


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