National Virology Institute in Pune, India was entrusted by the government of Kerala with the responsibility of studying possibilities of gene mutation that might have been happening to Dengue Viruses in Kerala. This disease has been spreading in Kerala at unprecedented rates and following people's alarm and continuous protests, the government was forced to do this. The team from Pune consisted of so called experts in the field such as Dr. Kalpana Beruva, Dr.B.V.Tendale and Dr. Ratnakar Sahu. The Institute has a sub centre at Alappuzha, the data collected and information available where was handed over to the team of experts. They also conferred with Rajeev Gandhi Institute of Bio Technology Centre, Trivandrum.
Blood samples collected from 100 dengue patients were sent to their mother lab in Pune. The team inspected the most-dengue-affected areas and the hospitals in those areas. Their conclusion is that there has been the least possibility of mutational change to dengue viruses in Kerala, based on the facts that it will take at least 10 years for genetic mutational changes to happen to dengue viruses and dengue began to spread widely in Kerala only since 2006.
The World Health Organization classifies dengue as a Zoonosis. ‘A zoonosis or zoonose is any infectious disease that can be transmitted between species from animals to humans or from humans to animals. Agents that can carry infectious organisms that may be zoonotic include dogs, bats, horses, monkeys, mosquitoes, fishes, pigs, sheep, flies, goats and humans. Infectious agents can be bacteria, fungi, parasites and viruses. Of the many zoonoses than can be contacted to human beings, the most common are anthrax, brucellosis, chagas disease, cholera, cow-pox, dengue fever, ebola, H1N1flu, hantavirus, nipah fever, plague, Q-fever, rabies, salmonellosis and yellow fever. The major factor contributing to the appearance of zoonotic diseases in humans is increased contact between human and wildlife. Either human activity can move into areas of wilderness or wild animals can move into areas of human activity. In the past the latter happened due to anthropological or environmental disturbances but in the modern times it happens due the man’s habit of keeping animals in homes as pets’. According to Encyclopedia Britannica, ‘Zoonosis is any infectious disease transmitted between humans and other vertebrate animals. The term was originally defined to describe a group of diseases that humans may acquire from domestic animals. This definition has been modified to include all human diseases that are acquired from or transmitted to any other vertebrate’.
Flaviviridae Flavivirus is the virus which causes Dengue fever. ‘The Flaviviridae are a family of viruses that are primarily spread through arthropod vectors, mainly ticks and mosquitoes. Most of these viruses are transmitted by the bite from an infected arthropod, mosquito or tick, and hence, classified as arboviruses’. We know, evolution and mutation are a continuously happening thing in nature and human intelligence is still now unable to halt, check, control or modify its course, especially when it is happening in the world of microbes. Pluto was a satellite of the Sun till two or three years ago but all of a sudden now it is not. Even Cambridge Book of Astronomy has to be modified on this account of a few observers’ views and opinions of celestial bodies. Today a flavivirus responsible for dengue is considered to be belonging to the category of diseases transmitted only through mosquitoes and never through dogs. Many others of such diseases were also thought to be so, till they acquire the ability to get transmitted through the secondary intermediary vector, independent of the primary first. Something that is yesterday transmitted through mosquitoes today gets transmitted through ticks and tomorrow it will develop itself into establishing independent animal transmission routes, defying mosquitoes and ticks. Mutations and evolutions do not wait for scientists to prove or for academics to classify and record. Microbial mutation and evolution occurs at multiple rates of scientific progress, every day, every hour. That is why millions still die out of microbial infections, scientists and physicians standing helpless. In the story, the Martians die on the earth because they are encountering microbes for the first time in their lives. In the real world, men die in millions because even though his body is seasoned against microbes, he cannot cope with their fast-rated mutation and ever happening changes in their ways of operation.
First reported on 30 July 2013