Global health R&D at work in North Dakota
Researchers at the University of North Dakota are studying whether the presence of a parasite in a person’s blood enhances the transmission of Zika. Nematodes are parasitic roundworms that are common in Latin America and the Caribbean, and there is some indication that nematodes may enhance viral transmission. If they have this effect, the discovery could lead to new approaches to combat the Zika virus. Zika, which is spread by mosquitoes, can be transferred from a pregnant woman to her unborn child, causing devastating birth defects. There is no vaccine to prevent infection with Zika nor medicine to cure it. With global travel, this public health threat is not isolated to one part of the world. Addressing Zika and finding a cure is about protecting women, families, and communities everywhere.