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Zika virus infects placenta: Researchers

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KATHMANDU — A new study by Emory University researchers have found that the fatal Zika virus can infect and replicate in immune cells from the placenta, without killing them.

According to the researchers, little was known about how the virus was replicating in placenta and in what cell type.

The finding showed that Zika virus could infect Hofbauer cells — placental macrophages — in cell culture.

Hofbauer cells are foetally derived, in contrast with other immune cells found in the placenta called decidual macrophages, which are maternally derived.

They are thought to be more tolerant and less prone to inflammatory responses than other immune cells, the researchers said.

However, signs of antiviral and inflammatory responses were detected in infected Hofbauer cells.

The study, published in the journal Cell Host & Microbe, may explain how the virus can pass through the placenta of a pregnant woman, on its way to infect developing brain cells in her foetus.

With Agency inputs

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Nirmala Panta rape, murder case : Locals protest after wrong suspect paraded

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BHIMDUTTANAGAR — Locals who were protesting against the rape and murder of Nirmala Panta of Kanchanpur’s Bhimdatta Municipality, have enforced shutdown in Bhimduttanagar Bazaar on Tuesday, protesting police’s failure to reveal facts behind the murder of 13-year-old girl and parading wrong suspect on Monday.

The District Police Office, organising a press conference on Monday,had made public Dilip Singh Bista (41), of Baghphanta, Bhimdatta Municipality-19 as Nirmala’s murderer.

Locals have shut down the market area stating that police were not being able to make public the true murderer(s) as they are not convinced by the findings of police citing that Bista was mentally unsound, according to the District Police Office.

Transportation has also been halted.

Bista, a resident of Khanna Chauraha area in Bhimdutta Municipality-19, was apprehended near the scene of crime on Sunday, according to police.

Police making public the wrong suspect has infuriated the locals and fueled the protest.

The agitators including various civil society organisations and human rights defenders have been picketing the District Administration Office and staging rally on the street mounting pressure on the police to reveal the facts behind the heinous crime.

Meanwhile, it had been learnt that police have fired rounds of teargas shells to contain the agitated mob.

Nirmala was found murdered in a sugarcane field on July 27, a day after she had gone to her friend’s home to get a notebook.

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