The authors of this study review the mosquito and vertebrate host species potentially involved in ZIKV vector-borne transmission worldwide; provide an evidence-supported analysis regarding the possibility of ZIKV spillback from an urban cycle to a zoonotic cycle outside Africa; and review hypotheses regarding recent emergence and evolution of ZIKV.
Pettersson et al provide a short commentary on their research article Re-visiting the evolution, dispersal and epidemiology of Zika virus in Asia published in Emerging Microbes & Infections in May 2018. This work was supported by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme under ZIKAlliance Grant Agreement no. 734548 and ZikaPLAN Grant Agreement no. 734584.
In this study, the authors have traced the phylogenetic history and spatio-temporal dispersal pattern of ZIKV in Asia prior to its explosive emergence in the Pacific region and the Americas.
Treatment with antibiotics depletes the gut microbiota in mice, making them more susceptible to infection by dengue, zika and west nile virus.
The authors of this article demonstrated that recombinant ZIKV NS1 expressed in mammalian cells stably transduced with a lentiviral vector is suitable for inducing the production of specific antibody directed against NS1 oligomer. According to the authors, anti-ZIKV immune serum could be a great tool for the specific detection of secreted NS1 hexamer in human cells infected with ZIKV of African and Asia lineages, including contemporary epidemic strains.
In this study, by adding 13 new full ZIKAV genome sequences, isolated from different places in the Pacific region and at different periods of time, along with other published genomes, the authors provide for the first time a map of the whole ZIKAV Pacific sublineage, from the Western to the Eastern edges of the Pacific ocean.
In order to understand the mechanism of Zika virus-associated microcephaly, the authors combined analysis of human fetuses infected with Zika virus, cultures of human neuronal stem cells and mice embryos. They showed that ZIKV infection of cortical progenitors controlling neurogenesis triggers a stress in the endoplasmic reticulum in the embryonic brain, inducing signals in response to incorrect protein con-formation.
The authors performed an experimental oral infection with the Asian genotype of ZIKV in Ae. albopictus from La Réunion and found a strong midgut barrier to dissemination. This result is discussed in the light of previous vector competence assays for DENV and CHIKV performed on other Ae. albopictus populations from La Réunion.
This study shows that the extrinsic incubation period of Ae. aegypti for transmission is shorter than that of Ae. albopictus.
The authors of this study developed novel multiplex real-time reverse transcription PCRs. The new PCRs enable yellow fever (YFV) detection with diagnostic sensitivity. Although the dual-target assay is superior to the single-target assay in sensitivity and robustness to target competition, the single-target assay – as stated by the researchers – may be advantageous in resource-limited settings and may be more convenient for multiplex usage in combination with assays targeting co-circulating arboviruses, such as chikungunya, Zika, and dengue viruses.
Marini et al provide a short commentary on their research article First outbreak of Zika virus in the continental United States: a modelling analysis published in September 2017 in Eurosurveillance. This was supported by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme under ZIKAlliance Grant Agreement no. 734548.
The remarkable efficacy of the ClearColi BL21(DE3)-based expression system at eliciting the rapid production of specific anti-ZIKV antibodies endorses an innovative method, which can be extended to emerging viruses for which development of immunological tools is an urgent prerequisite.
In this work, the authors analysed the transmission dynamics of the Wynwood outbreak, recorded in Florida at the end of July 2016, using a mathematical model calibrated to outbreak data, and assessed the efficacy of the implemented vector control measures in containing viral transmission. Results from this analysis provide useful insights for prevention and control of possible future outbreaks in European areas.
In this letter, the authors address the need for curation and standardized annotation of ZIKV reference genomes in order to guide researchers and clinicians in genomic analyses and the translation of research findings.
Challenges of scientific collaboration during an outbreak: the recent experience with Zika in Brazil
In response to the recent World Health Organisation (WHO) Global Vector Control Response document (http://www.who.int/malaria/global-vector-control-response/en/), ARCTEC at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine is working with The Global Health Network, the WHO and the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to develop an exciting new initiative called The Global Vector Hub. The project is being part-funded by an EU H2020 grant as part of the recently formed ZikaPLAN consortium. We have been invited by the Wellcome Trust to submit an application for a Biomedical Resource and Technology Development Grant to help fund the website. We have successfully advanced through the first round of grant proposals. The full application is now being prepared and is due for submission on 3rd April, 2017. To demonstrate the need for the Global Vector Hub, we are collecting letters of support from potential stakeholders. It would be great if you could distribute this e-mail to your contacts and ask them to provide letters of support.
With Zika infection rates now seeming to be on the increase, the Oxford Science Blog talked to Professor Lang about why it is so important to develop capacity for doing research in places where research doesn't normally happen.
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