Researchers from the University of Georgia are using parasitic wasps to gain insights into how mosquito borne diseases such as Zika and malaria are spread. These diseases evade detection by the host’s immune system, which allows them to infect other animals such as human beings.
A parasitic wasp, native to Australia was used to research how these viruses spread by mosquitoes are able to bypass the immune system. The wasp deposits eggs inside caterpillars along with a virus that inhibits the immune system.
Researchers found that a certain protein from that virus disrupts formation of the immune complex in the caterpillar Bombyx mori, commonly known as the silkworm.