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Diversity of Antiviral Bacteria Discovered

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Wolbachia, a symbiont that resides naturally up to 70% of all insect species, are probably the most prevalent infectious bacteria on Earth. In 2008 Luis Teixeira, now a principal investigator at the Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência, and other scientists have discovered that Wolbachia can protect their hosts against viral infections. Since then, several studies have been made to further investigate the interactions between Wolbachia and insects, aiming to build new strategies to use this bacterium in the control of diseases transmitted by mosquitoes, such as dengue.

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