Inflammation from mosquito bites can cause viral infections to spread

November 11, 2016
Volume 4    |   Issue 45

We all know that itchy, inflamed sensation that comes with a mosquito bite. When it appears, the immune system swoops in to help. It turns out that if the mosquito is carrying a virus such as Zika or dengue, that's exactly what the virus wants your body to do.

We all know that itchy, inflamed sensation that comes with a mosquito bite. When it appears, the immune system swoops in to help. It turns out that if the mosquito is carrying a virus such as Zika or dengue, that's exactly what the virus wants your body to do.

Researchers at the University of Leeds were investigating how mosquito-borne viruses get a foothold in our bodies to spread infection when they discovered something interesting: the immune system itself becomes an unwitting ally in the spread of infection. They conducted research on mouse models to try to figure out what exactly was happening.

As you might know, when a mosquito bites you, it injects some of its saliva into your skin. Your skin recognizes this as a problem and immediately calls white blood cells to the scene to help out. But if the mosquito's saliva contains a virus, that virus sees those white blood cells as cozy new homes. The virus infects the cells, which then begin replicating the virus.

The researchers discovered this when they tried injecting viruses directly into the skin of mice. Without the mosquito saliva to trigger an immune response, the viruses had trouble replicating. They achieved similar results when they allowed the mice to be bitten by virus-carrying mosquitos, but blocked the immune cells from responding.

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The researchers are very excited about the potential therapeutic benefits of these findings. In particular, they believe that stopping the inflammatory response as soon as it occurs can help keep viruses from spreading.

So if you notice you've been bitten by a mosquito, taking action right away could help you from becoming a host to whatever infection it might be carrying. Apply a topical anti-inflammatory like calamine lotion immediately, and whatever you do, don't scratch. Doing so will create more inflammation in your skin and draw the attention of your immune system.

If you get a lot of mosquito bites or are particularly worried about catching an infection from one, you can also try switching to an alkaline diet. This will lower inflammation throughout your body and tell your immune system that it doesn't need to be on high alert all the time. I've written about this diet before, but its basic building blocks are fruits such as pineapple and lots of vegetables, especially green ones, herbal teas such as turmeric and ginger, and hydration.

You also can try Reduloxin, which will also keep inflammation at bay instead of causing your body to overreact and draw more attention to the bite.

To your health, naturally,

 







Sources:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27548800 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20620757 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3583892/

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