Latest Issue of Science News


Insect-saliva vaccine thwarts parasite

Fly spit may yet make its way into the medical mainstream. A new study on mice demonstrates that a vaccine based on a component of sand fly saliva can protect against leishmaniasis, an illness that infects hundreds of thousands of people each year.

Widespread in the tropics, the sometimes fatal illness produces disfiguring lesions. It's caused by a group of single-celled parasites that dwell inside tiny blood-sucking sand flies. When they pierce a person's skin, the flies inject the parasites into the bloodstream.

Note: To comment, Science News subscribing members must now establish a separate login relationship with Disqus. Click the Disqus icon below, enter your e-mail and click “forgot password” to reset your password. You may also log into Disqus using Facebook, Twitter or Google.

This article is available only to subscribing members. Join SSP today or Log in.