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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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HOTC sees remarkable success rate on kidney transplant

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HOTC sees remarkable success rate on kidney transplant

BHAKTAPUR — Shahid Dharmabhakta National Human Organ Transplant Centre (HOTC), Bhaktapur has successfully undertaken transplant of over 400 kidneys.

Hospital’s Executive Director Dr Pukar Chandra Shrestha, at a press conference organised here on Friday, informed that the Centre has so far successfully transplanted kidneys on 404 patients.

The Centre had initiated the kidney transplant service on January 19, 2013.

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The inflow of patients has alarmingly increased at the facility with the start of additional medical services such as urology, gastro surgery, cardio therapy, stone removal surgery along with other surgeries, besides kidney transplant, said Prof Dr Rakesh Verma.

However, the patients are compelled to wait for the transplant for long due to limited building space and availability of beds.

Right now, around 400 patients are waiting their turns for kidney transplant and more than this number are waiting to avail of dialysis service.

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