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A potential mechanism for Wolbachia pathogen blocking

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Wolbachia was dragged out of the obscurity of phenomenology literature and into the limelight of medical relevance by two high impact publications in 2008 (here and here). Both revealed that Wolbachia can protect insects (in this case, Drosophila melanogaster) from RNA viruses, resulting in a reduction of viral titers during the course of infection or increasing host survival.  This trait has obvious vector control applications and indeed, Wolbachia-infected mosquitos are being released in different parts of the world to control the spread of Dengue, among other human pathogens.  Although we are currently using Wolbachia to control arboviruses, we do not yet understand the mechanism by which Wolbachia confers pathogen protection.  This week, Rainey et al published a potential mechanism in our favorite journal, PLoS Pathogens. I was excited to read it and share the figures with y'all (the actual figures, not the mixed up ones originally published, and thanks for Alain for sending t…