This paper finds that Ae. aegypti vector competence for ZIKV from macaques is low, likely to be due to low viral load and the short duration of ZIKV viremia in primates suitable for infecting susceptible mosquitoes.
Uncertainty in times of medical emergency: Knowledge gaps and structural ignorance during the Brazilian Zika crisisby Kelly et al.
Uncertainty was a defining feature of the Brazilian Zika crisis of 2015–2016. This article identifies three forms of uncertainty: global health, public health and clinical uncertainty, and it suggests that “emergency research” was effective in tackling global health uncertainty.
Spatiotemporal Analysis of the Population Risk of Congenital Microcephaly in Pernambuco State, Brazilby Alexander et al.
This study emphasizes the burden of microcephaly during the outbreak in Pernambuco, with estimates higher than in some previous studies, and with high risk in an inland region of the state for reasons which are yet to be clarified.
Book chapter in Locating Zika Social Change and Governance in an Age of Mosquito Pandemics; Edited by Kevin Bardosh
Low vector competence in sylvatic mosquitoes limits Zika virus to initiate an enzootic cycle in South Americaby Fernandes et al.
These results suggest that genetically determined tissue barriers, especially in the midgut, play a vital role in inhibiting ZIKV for transmission in the tested sylvatic mosquito species. Thus, an independent enzootic transmission cycle for ZIKV in South America is very unlikely.
Study protocol for the multicentre cohorts of Zika virus infection in pregnant women, infants, and acute clinical cases in Latin America and the Caribbean: the ZIKAlliance consortiumby Avelino-Silva et al.
Results of large cohort studies will provide better risk estimates for birth defects and other developmental abnormalities associated with ZIKV infection including possible co-factors for the variability of risk estimates between other countries and regions. Additional outcomes include incidence and transmission estimates of ZIKV during and after pregnancy, characterization of short and long-term clinical course following infection and viral kinetics of ZIKV.
Based on vector competence data and vector distribution, the auhtors generate a prediction risk map for CHIKV stressing the fear of CHIKV and to a lesser extent, of other arboviruses for Europe, calling us for new public health strategies.
Results in this study stress the poor ability of Ae. albopictus to sustain a local transmission of ZIKV in Europe and provide a promising tool to evaluate the risk of ZIKV transmission in future outbreaks.
REALM: An Altmetrics-based Framework to Map Science Impacts on Society. A Case Study on Zika Researchby Passos Maia et al.
In this paper the authors describe an altmetrics-based framework which allows the identification of specialists and important research in specific research scenarios.
Zika virus differentially infects human neural progenitor cells according to their state of differentiation and dysregulates neurogenesis through the Notch pathwayby Ferraris et al.
Results from this research show that the differentiation state of hNPCs is a significant factor contributing to the outcome of ZIKV infection and furthermore suggest that ZIKV infection might initiate early activation of the Notch pathway resulting in an abnormal differentiation process, implicated in ZIKV-induced brain injury.
Phylogeography and invasion history of Aedes aegypti, the Dengue and Zika mosquito vector in Cape Verde islands (West Africa)by Salgueiro et al.
The authors of this study performed a phylogeographic and population genetics study of A. aegypti in Cape Verde in order to infer the geographic origin and evolutionary history of this mosquito.
Assessing the Potential Interactions between Cellular miRNA and Arboviral Genomic RNA in the Yellow Fever Mosquito, Aedes aegyptiby Yen et al.
This study shows a broad picture of possible interactions between mosquito cellular miRNAs and the viral RNA of different genotypes/lineages of arboviruses, providing a list of mosquito cellular miRNAs candidates for experimental validations in future studies.
Since the ZIKV outbreak in Brazil in 2015, the scientific community has joined efforts to gather more information on the epidemiology, clinical features and pathogenicity of the virus. Here, you can read a summary of the most important advances made recently and the discussion of promising, innovative approaches to understand and control ZIKV infection.
In this study, the authors determined the global proteomic profile of CHIKV and ZIKV infections in human skin fibroblasts using Stable Isotope Labelling by Amino acids in Cell culture (SILAC)-based mass-spectrometry analysis.
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.
Optimization of a fragment linking hit toward Dengue and Zika virus NS5 methyltransferases inhibitorsby Hernandez et al.
A fragment-based drug design approach on flavivirus methyltransferase.
Re-visiting the evolution, dispersal and epidemiology of Zika virus in Asia. A commentary from the authors.by Pettersson et al.
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.
4 EU-funded Zika consortia met in Marseille during the International Symposium to discuss a common strategy for vaccine developmentby ZIKAlliance
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.
Oral Antibiotic Treatment of Mice Exacerbates the Disease Severity of Multiple Flavivirus Infectionsby Thackray LB et al.
Treatment with antibiotics depletes the gut microbiota in mice, making them more susceptible to infection by dengue, zika and west nile virus.
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.
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.
First outbreak of Zika virus in the continental United States: a modelling analysis. A commentary from the authorsby ZIKAlliance
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.
ClearColi BL21(DE3)-based expression of Zika virus antigens illustrates a rapid method of antibody production against emerging pathogensby Viranaicken et al.
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.