This section highlights publications on research conducted by ZikaPLAN consortium members and partners as part of the initiative.

Extensive Genetic Differentiation between Homomorphic Sex Chromosomes in the Mosquito Vector, Aedes aegypti

Albin Fontaine, Igor Filipović, Thanyalak Fansiri, Ary A. Hoffmann, Changde Cheng, Mark Kirkpatrick, Gordana Rašić, and Louis Lambrechts - Genome Biology and Evolution, September 2017

Mechanisms and evolutionary dynamics of sex-determination systems are of particular interest in insect vectors of human pathogens like mosquitoes because novel control strategies aim to convert pathogen-transmitting females into nonbiting males, or rely on accurate sexing for the release of sterile males. This study’s results lay a new foundation for the mapping and population genomic studies in Aedes aegypti, and for the control strategies that rely on accurate sexing and sex reversal in this important mosquito vector.

Read more

Uncovering the Repertoire of Endogenous Flaviviral Elements in Aedes Mosquito Genomes

Yasutsugu Suzuki, Lionel Frangeul, Laura B. Dickson, Hervé Blanc, Yann Verdier, Joelle Vinh, Louis Lambrechts, Maria-Carla Saleh - Journal of Virology, August 2017

Endogenous viral elements derived from nonretroviral RNA viruses have been described in various animal genomes. The authors investigated the repertoire of endogenous flaviviral elements (EFVEs) in Aedes mosquitoes, the vectors of arboviruses such as dengue and chikungunya viruses.

Read more

Infectious causes of microcephaly: epidemiology, pathogenesis, diagnosis, and management

Dr Delan Devakumar, PhD, Alasdair Bamford, PhD, Prof Marcelo U Ferreira, PhD, Jonathan Broad, MBChB, Richard E Rosch, BMBCh, Prof Nora Groce, PhD, Prof Judith Breuer, MD, Prof Marly A Cardoso, PhD, Prof Andrew J Copp, DPhil, Paula Alexandre, PhD, Prof Laura C Rodrigues, PhD, Prof Ibrahim Abubakar, PhD - The Lancet Infectious Diseases, August 22, 2017

In this Review, the authors summarize important aspects of major congenital infections that can cause microcephaly, and describe the epidemiology, transmission, clinical features, pathogenesis, management, and long-term consequences of these infections. They highlight potential issues with classification of microcephaly and show how some infants affected by congenital infection might be missed or incorrectly diagnosed.

Read more

Symptomatic dengue infection during pregnancy and the risk of stillbirth in Brazil, 2006–12: a matched case-control study

Enny S Paixão, Maria da Conceição N Costa, Maria Glória Teixeira, Katie Harron, Marcia Furquim de Almeida, Mauricio L Barreto, Laura C Rodrigues - The Lancet Infectious Diseases, September 17, 2017

Maternal infections during pregnancy can increase the risk of fetal death. Dengue infection is common, but little is known about its role in fetal mortality. The authors aimed to investigate the association between symptomatic dengue infection during pregnancy and fetal death.

Read more

How do biting disease vectors behaviourally respond to host availability?

Laith Yakob - BioMed Central, August 16, 2017

A novel formula that accounts for vectors’ diverse feeding behaviour is presented and nested into a vector-borne disease transmission model. This coupled structure offers a flexible framework that can be applied to any vector-borne disease to assess the epidemiological importance of the availability of multiple blood host species.

Read more

On the Characteristics of Dysphagia in Infants with Microcephaly Caused by Congenital Zika Virus Infection, Brazil 2015

Mariana C. Leal, Vanessa van der Linden, Thiago P. Bezerra, Luciana de Valois, Adriana C.G. Borges, Margarida M.C. Antunes, Kátia G. Brandt, Catharina X. Moura, Laura C. Rodrigues, and Coeli R. Ximenes – Emerging Infectious Diseases, August 2017

In this article, the characteristics of dysphagia in 9 infants in Brazil with microcephaly caused by congenital Zika virus infection are summarized.

Read more

Zika virus tropism and interactions in myelinating neural cell cultures: CNS cells and myelin are preferentially affected

Stephanie L. Cumberworth†, Jennifer A. Barrie†, Madeleine E. Cunningham, Daniely Paulino Gomes de Figueiredo, Verena Schultz, Adrian J. Wilder-Smith, Benjamin Brennan, Lindomar J. Pena, Rafael Freitas de Oliveira França, Christopher Linington, Susan C. Barnett, Hugh J. Willison, Alain Kohl† and Julia M. Edgar† - Acta Neuropathologica Communications Neuroscience of Disease, June 23, 2017
†Contributed equally

The recent global outbreak of Zika virus (ZIKV) infection has been linked to severe neurological disorders affecting the peripheral and central nervous systems (PNS and CNS, respectively). Here CNS and PNS myelinating cultures from wild type and Ifnar1 knockout mice are used to examine neuronal and glial tropism and short-term consequences of direct infection with a Brazilian variant of ZIKV.

Read more

On the Origin and Timing of Zika Virus Introduction in Brazil

Eduardo Massad, Marcelo Nascimento Burattini, Kamran Khan, Claudio Jose Struchiner, Francisco Antonio Bezerra Coutinho, Annelies Wilder-Smith – Epidemiology & Infection, June 15, 2017

In this study, mathematical models are applied to determine the most likely time window of ZIKV introduction in Brazil.

Read more

Zika’s Long Haul: Tackling the Causes of Human Vulnerability to
 Mosquito-Borne Viruses

Laura C. Rodrigues - American Journal of Public Health, June 2017

“WHO, and affected countries, need to manage Zika not as an emergency but in the same sustained way we manage other established, epidemic-prone pathogens like dengue and chikungunya. We are here for the long haul.”

Read more

Aedes aegypti Control Through Modernized, Integrated Vector Management

Laith Yakob, Sebastian Funk, Anton Camacho, Oliver Brady, W. John Edmunds – PLOS Current Outbreaks, January 30, 2017

Despite identifying important disadvantages of Wolbachia and SIT, this initial analysis demonstrates potential for good synergy when combining novel mosquito approaches in a modernized, integrated vector control program.

Read more

Comparative Analysis of Dengue and Zika Outbreaks Reveals Differences by Setting and Virus

Sebastian Funk , Adam J. Kucharski, Anton Camacho, Rosalind M. Eggo, Laith Yakob, Lawrence M. Murray, W. John Edmunds - PLOS Currents: Outbreaks, December 6, 2016

Fitting models to data from dengue and Zika outbreaks in Micronesia showed that transmission is similar for both viruses. Dengue models that have been developed for decades can and should be exploited in the current context of the Zika pandemic.

Read more

Low risk of a sexually-transmitted Zika virus outbreak

Laith Yakob, Adam Kucharski, Stephane Hue, W John Edmunds - The Lancet Infectious Diseases, October 2016

Although Zika virus is a mosquito-borne flavivirus, reports have begun to emerge of its possible sexual transmission leading to concern that this alternative transmission route will expand the at-risk population beyond the tropical confines of the mosquito vectors and the current outbreak.

Read more

Zika and Other Emerging Viruses: Aiming at the Right Target

Kai Dallmeier and Johan Neyts, Cell Host & Microbe 20, October 12, 2016

Kai Dallmeier and Johan Neyts from the Rega Institute for Medical Research, Department of Microbiology & Immunology, University of Leuven Leuven, Belgium look at the in vitro screens conducted by Barrows et al. (2016) and Xu et al. (2016) with the goal of identifying FDA-licensed drugs and drug-like small molecules that could potentially be repurposed to prevent and treat ZIKV infections.

Read more