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Old 04-06-2009, 09:15 AM   #1
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Default New Tufts vet lab to study insect-borne diseases

New Tufts vet lab to study insect-borne diseases
Friday, April 3, 2009
By Marc Songini

New Tufts vet lab to study insect-borne diseases - Mass High Tech Business News
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The newly-dedicated biosafety lab at Tufts University’s Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine hopes to be welcoming guests most people just shun: dangerous-disease-carrying arthropods, such as West Nile- or Lyme disease-carrying mosquitoes or ticks.

Not to worry — these guests will find it quite difficult to leave the Grafton-based facility, which is one of perhaps only two biosafety level 3 “insectary” labs in Massachusetts that are proposed to handle arthropods and study the diseases they transmit.
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Such a biosafety level 3 lab is needed to study arthropod-borne infections safely and find vaccines and cures. “Literally, there are several hundred arthropod viruses,” he said. “There are 10 different kinds within arthropods that bite humans or animals in Massachusetts, and of those, four are classified as biosafety level 3 agents, including West Nile and Eastern Equine Encephalitis.” Lots of public attention is devoted to West Nile virus, but many viruses, such as Jamestown Canyon Virus, go undetected because they produce few or mild symptoms, said Telford. In fact, there are two mosquito-borne infections, Rift Valley Fever and Chikungunya, that experts fear may hit the United States and make West Nile virus “look like Play-Doh.”
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Old 04-06-2009, 11:41 AM   #2
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Rift Valley Fever and Chikungunya> shuddering at the thought with the loss of so many bats.
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