Mosquitoes cause more human suffering that any other organism. Over a million people die each year from mosquito-borne diseases, mosquitoes are estimated to transmit disease to more than 700 million people annually, with over half of the world’s population is at risk of infection. Combatting the mosquito-borne diseases- such as dengue virus (DENV), Ross River virus (RRV) and chikungunya virus (CHIKV), is one of our most pressing global health challenges. Mosquito-transmitted viral diseases, such as Dengue and Chikungunya, are expanding in their global distribution and pose a significant threat to Australia.
I am working on a two-pronged approach to help minimize the morbidity and impact of these global diseases. Firstly, we are identifying critical components of both the virus and the mosquito vector, which may prevent or limit the spread of these mosquito-borne diseases. Secondly I am investigating potential new treatment strategies for viral inflammatory disease. To that end, I have discovered a potential new treatment strategy for viral arthritis by repurposing a currently licenced glycotherapeutic (results to be published soon).
The ultimate goal of this research is to prevent the spread of mosquito-borne viruses and he debilitating diseases they cause.