This section highlights publications on research conducted by ZikaPLAN consortium members and partners as part of the initiative.
Neurological disease in adults with Zika and chikungunya virus infection in Northeast Brazil: a prospective observational study
Maria Lúcia Brito Ferreira et al. – The Lancet Neurology, October 01, 2020
Since 2015, the arthropod-borne viruses (arboviruses) Zika and chikungunya have spread across the Americas causing outbreaks, accompanied by increases in immune-mediated and infectious neurological disease. The spectrum of neurological manifestations linked to these viruses, and the importance of dual infection, are not known fully. In this article, the authors aimed to investigate whether neurological presentations differed according to the infecting arbovirus, and whether patients with dual infection had a different disease spectrum or severity.
Tony Kirby – The Lancet Infectious Diseases, August 1, 2020
In this profile the author presents the career and achievements of Professor of Emerging Infectious Diseases at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and ZikaPLAN Director, Annelies Wilder-Smith.
Guillain-Barré syndrome in times of pandemics
Sonja E Leonhard et al. – Journal of Neurology Neurosurgery and Psychiatry, July 30, 2020
The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic is the last in line of several epidemics of infectious diseases that have been linked to the Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS). As threats of epidemics of emerging infectious diseases persist, this is the time to learn from the past and to advance our response to future outbreaks in terms of research and management of GBS.
Guillain-Barré syndrome related to Zika virus infection: a systematic review and meta-analysis of the clinical and electrophysiological phenotype
Sonja E. Leonhard et al. – PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases, April 27, 2020
Whether ZIKV-associated GBS is related to a specific clinical or electrophysiological phenotype has not been established. To this end, the authors performed a systematic review and meta-analysis of all published studies on ZIKV-related GBS.
Detection of Zika virus replication in human semen by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction targeting of antisense RNA
Ralph Huit et al. – Journal of Infectious Diseases, February 13, 2020
In this article, the authors describe the results obtained from their RT-PCR assay that targets antisense ZIKV RNA (asRNA) to assess ZIKV replication competence in ZIKV RNA positive semen samples.
Recombination of B- and T-cell epitope-rich loci from Aedes- and Culex-borne flaviviruses shapes Zika virus epidemiology
Gaunt M. W. et al. - Antiviral Research, February 2020
This study provides a possible explanation of why explosive ZIKV epidemics occurred in DENV-endemic regions of Micronesia, Polynesia and the Americas where Culex-borne flavivirus outbreaks are infrequent and why ZIKV did not cause major epidemics in Asia where Culex-borne flaviviruses are widespread.
Diagnosis and Treatment of Guillain‐Barré Syndrome During The Zika Virus Epidemic In Brazil: A National Survey Study
Sonja E. Leonhard et al. - Journal of the Peripheral Nervous System, November 20, 2019
This national survey study aims to provide a better understanding of how neurologists in Brazil are currently diagnosing and treating patients with GBS, and how the increase in incidence of GBS during the Zika virus pandemic has impacted the management of the disease.
Acute-onset chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy after Zika virus infection
Sonja E Leonhard et al. – Journal of Neurology Neurosurgery and Psychiatry, November, 2019
The case studied by the authors of this report indicates that ZIKV infection may trigger a chronic peripheral nervous system disorder, most likely caused by prolonged inflammation, that can present as Guillain-Barré syndrome.
ZikaPLAN: addressing the knowledge gaps and working towards a research preparedness network in the Americas
Wilder-Smith et al. – Global Health Action, October 23, 2019
In this article, the authors provide a report on the ZikaPLAN consortium’s mid-term achievements.
A peridomestic Aedes malayensis population in Singapore can transmit yellow fever virus
Elliott F. Miot et al. - PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases, October 7, 2019
In this study, the authors characterized the potential contribution of a mosquito species called Aedes malayensis to yellow fever virus transmission in Singapore. Aedes malayensis breeds in urban parks of Singapore and is suspected to have participated in the resurgence of other mosquito-borne diseases such as dengue because it is not targeted by current mosquito control measures. Not only was Ae. malayensis able to experimentally acquire and transmit yellow fever virus, but it was also found to engage in contact with humans in a field situation. This empirical evidence indicates that Ae. malayensis is a competent vector of yellow fever virus and should be targeted by mosquito control programs.
The association of depression, anxiety, and stress with caring for a child with Congenital Zika Syndrome in Brazil; Results of a cross-sectional study
Kuper H et al. – PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases, September 30, 2019
A cross-sectional study was undertaken in Recife and Rio de Janeiro from May 2017 to January 2018 to explore the adverse mental health impacts of parenting a child with disabilities.
Diagnosis and management of Guillain-Barré syndrome in ten steps
Sonja E. Leonhard et al. – Nature Reviews Neurology, September 20, 2019
Until now, no international clinical guidelines for the diagnosis and management of Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) existed. To accommodate this unmet need and to support clinicians, especially in case of increased incidence of GBS due to other infectious triggers, the authors of this paper have developed a globally applicable, simple and practical clinical guideline for GBS that can be printed and used at the bedside.
Incidence of Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS) in Latin America and the Caribbean before and during the 2015-2016 Zika virus epidemic: A systematic review and meta-analysis
Capasso A, Ompad DC, Vieira DL, Wilder-Smith A, Tozan Y – PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases, August 26, 2019
The authors present the results of a systematic review and meta-analysis of surveillance data and publications on Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) in Latin America and the Caribbean over the past 38 years. Their findings contribute to the understanding of the epidemiology of GBS in the region to inform healthcare system planning and preparedness.
Immunogenicity and Protection Efficacy of a Naked Self-Replicating mRNA-Based Zika Virus Vaccine
Zifu Zhong et al. – MDPI Vaccines, August 23, 2019
In this work, the authors designed and evaluated, for the first time, a naked self- replicating mRNA Zika virus vaccine encoding the Zika virus prM-E protein.
Access to healthcare for children with Congenital Zika Syndrome in Brazil: perspectives of mothers and health professionals
Maria S V Albuquerque et al. – Health Policy and Planning, August 1, 2019
This article analyses access to healthcare services and activities from the perspective of mothers of children with Congenital Zika Syndrome and professionals from the Public Healthcare Network in the states of Pernambuco and Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, in the aftermath of the ZIKV epidemic.
Cell-Fusing Agent Virus Reduces Arbovirus Dissemination in Aedes aegypti Mosquitoes In Vivo
Artem Baidaliuk et al. – Journal of Virology, June 26, 2019
In this study, the authors used an experimental approach to demonstrate that cell-fusing agent virus infection reduces the propagation of dengue and Zika viruses in A. aegypti mosquitoes. The results support the idea that insect-only viruses in nature can modulate the ability of mosquitoes to carry arboviruses of medical significance and that they could possibly be manipulated to reduce arbovirus transmission.
Estimating Past, Present, and Future Trends in the Global Distribution and Abundance of the Arbovirus Vector Aedes aegypti Under Climate Change Scenarios
Jing Liu-Helmersson et al. – Frontiers in Public Health, June 12, 2019
In this study, the authors use a process-based mathematical model to estimate global distribution and abundance of Aedes aegypti. The model is based on the lifecycle of the vector and its dependence on climate, and the model sensitivity to socio-economic development is tested.
Spatiotemporal Heterogeneity in the Distribution of Chikungunya and Zika Virus Case Incidences during their 2014 to 2016 Epidemics in Barranquilla, Colombia
Thomas C. McHale et al. - International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, May 18, 2019
In this study, the authors aimed to explore the spatiotemporal heterogeneity in the occurrence of Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) and Zika virus (ZIKV) outbreaks throughout the major international seaport city of Barranquilla, Colombia in 2014 and 2016 and the potential for clustering.
Modelling an optimum vaccination strategy against ZIKA virus for outbreak use
Eduardo Massad et al. – Epidemiology & Infection, May 16, 2019
In this study, the authors present a model to optimise a vaccination campaign aiming to prevent or to curb a Zika virus outbreak. In particular, they aim to determine the optimum time point to introduce a mass vaccination campaign in response to an outbreak, the thresholds to declare an outbreak, the optimum duration of such a strategy and the coverage needed to avert an outbreak.
Sex-Specific Asymmetrical Attack Rates in Combined Sexual-Vectorial Transmission Epidemics
Ana Carolina W. G. de Barros et al. - Microorganisms, April 25, 2019
In this study, the authors propose a mathematical model for the transmission of the Zika virus including sexual transmission via all forms of sexual contact, as well as vector transmission, assuming a constant availability of mosquitoes.
Vector competence, vectorial capacity of Nyssorhynchus darlingi and the basic reproduction number of Plasmodium vivax in agricultural settlements in the Amazonian Region of Brazil
Maria Anice M. Sallum et al. – Malaria Journal, April 4, 2019
Both the morbidity and mortality associated with malaria have substantially decreased worldwide and in several endemic countries in Africa, South-East Asia and South America, including Brazil. However, since 2017, increased malaria has been reported across the Amazon. In South-East Asian and South American countries, malaria control programmes face a challenging situation because of the high proportion of Plasmodium vivax malaria, lack of sustainable funding, and emerging resistance to anti-malarial drugs and available insecticides.
Validating linkage of multiple population-based administrative databases in Brazil
Enny S. Paixão et al. – PLOS ONE, March 28, 2019
In the article, the authors aimed to validate the linkage strategy they used in Paixao et al 2017 to create a cohort study on the effects of dengue on maternal and birth outcomes. The outcome of these series of studies will enable physicians to properly conduct a risk assessment in pregnant patients and policy-makers to use this information to include women with dengue in pregnancy in an “at risk” population.
Perinatal analyses of Zika- and dengue virus-specific neutralizing antibodies: A microcephaly case-control study in an area of high dengue endemicity in Brazil
Castanha et al. – PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases, March 11, 2019
This study describes the serological markers of ZIKV and DENV among participants (mothers and neonates) of a microcephaly case-control study conducted in Northeast Brazil (2016). Among their findings, the authors detected a low frequency of serological markers of recent ZIKV infection in samples collected just after delivery, highlighting the need for screening for ZIKV immune status in the early stage and throughout pregnancy to monitor congenital ZIKV syndrome.
Past and future spread of the arbovirus vectors Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus
Kraemer M. et al. - Nature Microbiology, March 2019
The global population at risk from mosquito-borne disease - including dengue, yellow fever, chikungunya and Zika - is expanding in concert with changes in the distribution of two key vectors: Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus. The distribution of these species is largely driven by both human movement and the presence of suitable climate. Using statistical mapping techniques, the authors show that human movement patterns explain the spread of both species in Europe and the United States following their introduction.
Infants with microcephaly due to ZIKA virus exposure: nutritional status and food practices
Samira Fernandes Morais dos Santos et al. – Nutrition Journal, January 11, 2019
Knowledge about the nutrition of microcephalic infants can help mothers and caregivers provide better care. This study aimed to describe the nutritional status and feeding practices of infants with microcephaly due to Zika virus exposure at birth and 12–23 months of age.
The Role of Amniocentesis in the Diagnosis of Congenital Zika Syndrome
Jose Paulo Pereira, Jr et al. – Clinical Infectious Diseases, January 8, 2019
There are limited data on amniocentesis as a diagnostic tool for congenital Zika syndrome. Here the authors report on a prospective cohort of 16 women with suspected Zika virus infection in a highly endemic area and discuss the role of amniocentesis in the prenatal diagnosis of fetal Zika infection.
Association of Infants Exposed to Prenatal Zika Virus Infection With Their Clinical, Neurologic, and Developmental Status Evaluated via the General Movement Assessment Tool
Christa Einspieler, PhD et al. – PMC, January 4, 2019
In this study, the authors aimed to assess the integrity of the developing nervous system by analyzing the neuromotor repertoire of infants prenatally exposed to ZIKV. In a large multicenter approach, the general movement assessment (GMA), was part of the follow-up protocol of the Zika Rio de Janeiro cohort, which included infants prenatally exposed to acute maternal illness with rash and/or ZIKV infection. In addition, GMA was used to assess a select sample of infants with microcephaly after congenital ZIKV infection and a large group of age- and sex-matched neurotypical control infants for comparison.
Challenges in diagnosing Zika-experiences from a reference laboratory in a non-endemic setting
Van den Bossche et al. - European Journal of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, January 2019
Diagnosing a patient with Zika infection is not always straightforward. In this article, the authors aim to describe the data collected from December 2015 to December 2017 and discuss the implemented algorithm and diagnostic challenges they encountered.
Incidence of Zika virus infection in a prospective cohort of Belgian travellers to the Americas in 2016
Huits et al. - International Journal of Infectious Diseases, January, 2019
The ZIKV incidence rate in adult travellers from non-endemic countries to the epidemic territories during the 2016 outbreak has been unknown. The authors show that the incidence of ZIKV was high in the travellers studied and that asymptomatic infection was rare in this population.
Human stem cell-derived hepatocyte-like cells support Zika virus replication and provide a relevant model to assess the efficacy of potential antivirals
Tricot et al. - PLOS ONE, December 19, 2018
High levels of ZIKV RNA have been detected in mice and non-human primates in organs other than the brain, such as the liver, and closely related flaviviruses, the dengue and yellow fever viruses, are known to cause hepatitis. This study examines ZIKV infection of human hepatocytes.
Neurodevelopment in Infants Exposed to Zika Virus In Utero
Lopes Moreira ME et al. – NEJM, December 13, 2018
During the Zika virus (ZIKV) epidemic in Rio de Janeiro from September 2015 through June 2016, a prospective cohort study involving symptomatic pregnant women who had ZIKV infection confirmed by reverse-transcriptase–polymerase-chain-reaction assay was established. The study was approved by the institutional review boards at Fundação Oswaldo Cruz in Rio de Janeiro and the University of California, Los Angeles, and all the women provided written informed consent for themselves and their children. A total of 182 children who were exposed to ZIKV in utero were followed longitudinally with specialized testing. In this correspondence, the authors present the results of their study.
A yellow fever–Zika chimeric virus vaccine candidate protects against Zika infection and congenital malformations in mice
Dieudonné et al. – npj Vaccines, December, 2018
The authors report on the engineering of a chimeric virus vaccine candidate to protect against Zika virus (ZIKV). The particular characteristics of the vaccine candidate (in terms of efficacy and safety in the models used) warrants further exploration.
Improved reference genome of Aedes aegypti informs arbovirus vector control
Matthews et al. – Nature, November 14, 2018
Progress in understanding the biology of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes and developing the tools to fight them has been slowed by the lack of a high-quality genome assembly. The authors of this study combine diverse technologies to produce a markedly improved, fully re-annotated AaegL5 genome assembly and demonstrate how it accelerates mosquito science to fight this deadly disease vector.
A comparison of Zika and dengue outbreaks using national surveillance data in the Dominican Republic
Leigh R. Bowman et al. – PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, November 5, 2018
At the end of 2015 and through 2016, the Dominican Republic was affected by a major dengue outbreak and, as it abated, the first cases of Zika were detected. In this study, using a retrospective disease surveillance dataset, the authors sought: to identify and describe the transmission dynamics of Zika and dengue across Dominican Republic including associated cases of Guillain-Barre syndrome; to compare the age and sex-adjusted distributions of both Zika and dengue outbreaks and to calculate the reproductive number of each outbreak.
Immune priming and clearance of orally acquired RNA viruses in Drosophila
Mondotte et al. - Nature Microbiology, October 29, 2018
The work described in this article presents evidence of clearance and immune priming for RNA viruses in insects and challenges the current view of antiviral immunity in insects.
Favipiravir inhibits in vitro Usutu virus replication and delays disease progression in an infection model in mice
Nidya A. Segura Guerrero et al. – Antiviral Research, October 29, 2018
The ZikaPLAN and ZIKAlliance authors of this study show that the Usutu virus (USUV) infection model in mice is suitable for assessing the potential in vivo efficacy of novel USUV/flavivirus inhibitors.
Cutting Edge: Transcriptional Profiling Reveals Multifunctional and Cytotoxic Antiviral Responses of Zika Virus–Specific CD8+ T Cells
Alba Grifoni et al. – The Journal of Immunology, October 12, 2018
In this study, the authors characterized the quality and phenotypes of human CD8+ T cells responding to ZIKV infection, providing what they believe to be the first in-depth characterization of such a response.
Neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder associated with Zika virus infection
Maíra Cardoso Aspahan et al. – Neurology: Clinical Practice Month, October 4, 2018
In this study the authors recommend that Zika infection be considered in the diagnostic workup of neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder (NMOSD) in epidemic areas.
Projecting the end of the Zika virus epidemic in Latin America: a modelling analysis
Kathleen O’Reilly et al. – BMC Medicine, October 3, 2018
Despite the decline in the number of Zika cases in 2017, future incidence in Latin America and the Caribbean remains uncertain. The findings of this study suggest the ZIKV epidemic is by and large over in the region, with incidence projected to be low in most cities in 2018.
Social and economic impacts of congenital Zika syndrome in Brazil: Study protocol and rationale for a mixed-methods study
Hannah Kuper et al. – Wellcome Open Research, October 1, 2018
The Zika virus (ZIKV) epidemic hit Brazil in early 2015, coinciding with a time of political and economic crisis for the country. By the end of 2015, thousands of children had been born with microcephaly, which was quickly linked to ZIKV. This study aimed to explore the social and economic impacts of Congenital Zika Syndrome in Brazil.
A cross-sectional analysis of Zika virus infection in symptomatic and asymptomatic non-pregnant travellers: Experience of a European reference center during the outbreak in the Americas
Dr. Ralph Huits et al. - Travel Medicine and Infectious Disease, September 12, 2018
Zika virus (ZIKV) infection is of concern to travellers because of potential sexual transmission and adverse pregnancy outcomes. In this article, the authors describe their experience in diagnosing ZIKV in travellers returning from endemic territories.
Symptomatic Dengue during Pregnancy and Congenital Neurologic Malformations
Paixão et al. - Emerging Infectious Diseases, September 2018
This research letter provides an overview of the authors’ findings that dengue virus infection during pregnancy increased the risk for any neurologic congenital anomaly in the infant by roughly 50% and for other congenital malformations of the brain 4-fold.
Emergency and permanence of the Zika virus epidemic: an agenda connecting research and policy
Moreira MCN et al. - Cad. Saúde Pública vol.34 no.8, Aug 20, 2018
Recently, the Zika virus epidemic has caused a setting of health emergency in Brazil. This event has mobilized several stakeholders to look at this reality - where women, men and children born with the marks of these diagnoses are differently affected - as one with vectors, illnesses and obscure diagnosis situations. Recalling this recent memory means summoning the political realms to demand the commitment to the health of the population in contexts of health emergencies and their repercussions in the daily life.
Is vaccinating monkeys against yellow fever the ultimate solution for the Brazilian recurrent epizootics?
Eduardo Massad et al. - Epidemiology & Infection, August 14, 2018
In this article, the authors propose that vaccinating monkeys in relatively small green areas of the urban centers is perhaps the ultimate solution for the Brazilian recurrent yellow fever epizootics.
A Note on the Risk of Infections Invading Unaffected Regions
Amaku et al. - Computational and Mathematical Methods in Medicine, July 4, 2018
The authors present two probabilistic models to estimate the risk of introducing infectious diseases into previously unaffected countries/regions by infective travelers, looking at both direct transmission of infection and vector-borne infection.
Zika in travellers 1947-2017: a systematic review
Wilder-Smith A. et al. - The National Center for Biotechnology Information, July 2018
The authors of this article performed a systematic review of travel-associated ZIKV infections from 1947 to April 2017. Published reports on autochthonous ZIKV transmission in Asia were also compared with published reports on exportations from travellers in Asia.
Dengue vaccine: reliably determining previous exposure
Kevin K Ariën et al. – The Lancet Global Health, June 22, 2018
In this article, the authors highlight the challenges in establishing dengue serostatus.
Zika vaccines and therapeutics: landscape analysis and challenges ahead
Annelies Wilder-Smith et al. - BMC Medicine, June 6, 2018
Several Zika virus (ZIKV) vaccine candidates are currently in development. In this paper, the authors describe the various vaccine platforms, with a discussion on their advantages and disadvantages in the context of use scenarios and provide an overview of the current status of vaccine development.
The risk of urban yellow fever resurgence in Aedes-infested American cities
Eduardo Massad et al. - Epidemiology and Infection, May 30, 2018
In this article, the authors present a method to estimate the risk of urban yellow fever resurgence in dengue-endemic cities.
Zika Virus IgG in Infants with Microcephaly, Guinea-Bissau, 2016
Maiken Worsøe Rosenstierne et al. – Emerging Infectious Diseases, May 2018
In this research letter, the authors report an in-depth investigation of pathogens commonly associated with birth defects in 15 infants born with microcephaly in Guinea-Bissau in 2016.
Re-visiting the evolution, dispersal and epidemiology of Zika virus in Asia
Pettersson et al. - Emerging Microbes & Infections, May 2018
The authors of this article trace the phylogenetic history and spatiotemporal dispersal pattern of ZIKV in Asia prior to its explosive emergence in the Pacific region and the Americas. Their findings reveal new features of the evolution and dispersal of ZIKV that may benefit future disease control strategies.
Can Zika virus antibodies cross-protect against dengue virus?
K. Ariën et al. – The Lancet, May 2018
This correspondence looks back at findings reported by Ribeiro GS, Kikuti M, Tauro LB, et al. in The Lancet Global Health (Does immunity after Zika virus infection cross-protect against dengue? - Feb 2018) and shares findings from an in vitro investigation of dengue virus neutralization potential in samples from dengue virus-naïve patients with a documented Zika virus infection or virus neutralization.
Asymptomatic Prenatal Zika Virus Infection and Congenital Zika Syndrome
Paixão et al. – Open Forum Infectious Diseases, April 7, 2018
In this article, the authors investigate to what extent asymptomatic vs symptomatic prenatal Zika virus infections contribute to birth defects.
Zika virus infection in the returning traveller: what every neurologist should know
Leonhard SE et al. – Practical Neurology, March 18, 2018
This review provides an overview of Zika virus-associated neurological disease and aims to support neurologists in areas without current active transmission of the virus who may encounter patients returning from endemic areas.
Estimating the probability of dengue virus introduction and secondary autochthonous cases in Europe
E. Massad et al. – Nature Scientific Reports, March 15, 2018
This report estimates the risk of dengue virus introductions via travelers into Europe and number of secondary autochthonous cases as a result of the introduction. The authors apply mathematical modeling to estimate the number of dengue-viremic air passengers and find that the risk of onward transmission in Europe is reassuringly low, except where Aedes aegypti is present.
Diverse laboratory colonies of Aedes aegypti harbor the same adult midgut bacterial microbiome
Dickson et al. – Parasites & Vectors, March, 2018
This article looks at the nature, biogenesis, and mechanism of vDNA synthesis. The authors suggest that, analogous to mammalian RIG-I-like receptors, Dicer-2 functions like a pattern recognition receptor for DVGs to modulate antiviral immunity in insects.
Dicer-2-Dependent Generation of Viral DNA from Defective Genomes of RNA Viruses Modulates Antiviral Immunity in Insects
E. Poirier et al. – Cell Host & Microbe, March 1, 2018
This article looks at the nature, biogenesis, and mechanism of vDNA synthesis. The authors suggest that, analogous to mammalian RIG-I-like receptors, Dicer-2 functions like a pattern recognition receptor for DVGs to modulate antiviral immunity in insects.
The spectrum of neurological disease associated with Zika and chikungunya viruses in adults in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: A case series
R. Mehta et al. – PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases, February 12, 2018
The authors studied adults who had developed a new neurological condition following suspected Zika virus infection between 1st November 2015 and 1st June 2016. They found that chikungunya virus appears to have an equally important association with neurological disease in Brazil as Zika virus, and many patients had dual infection. To understand fully the burden of Zika the authors suggest looking beyond GBS, and also investigating for other co-circulating arboviruses, particularly chikungunya.
Aedes Mosquitoes and Aedes-Borne Arboviruses in Africa: Current and Future Threats
David Weetman et al. – International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, January 28, 2018
The authors review available data on the distribution of yellow fever, dengue, chikungunya and Zika in Africa, their Aedes vectors, transmission potential, and challenges and opportunities for Aedes control. They identify key knowledge gaps and future research areas, and in particular, highlight the need to improve knowledge of the distribution of disease, major vectors, and insecticide resistance.
Microcephaly epidemic related to the Zika virus and living conditions in Recife, Northeast Brazil
Souza et al. – BMC Public Health, January 12, 2018
The study analyzes the spatial distribution of microcephaly cases in Recife (2015–2016) and shows that populations residing in areas with precarious living conditions had a higher prevalence of microcephaly compared with populations with better living conditions.
The Zika Virus Epidemic in Brazil: From Discovery to Future Implications
Lowe R, et al. - International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, January 9, 2018
This article provides an overview of the discovery of Zika virus in Brazil, including its emergence and spread, epidemiological surveillance, vector and non-vector transmission routes, clinical complications, and socio-economic impacts. The authors discuss gaps in the knowledge and the challenges ahead to anticipate, prevent, and control emerging and re-emerging epidemics of arboviruses in Brazil and worldwide.
Further pieces of evidence in the Zika virus and microcephaly puzzle
Elizabeth B Brickley et al. – The Lancet, Child & Adolescent Health, January 12, 2018
In this article, the authors present more evidence of the links between Zika virus infection in pregnancy and microcephaly.
Development of envelope protein antigens to serologically differentiate Zika from dengue virus infection
Premkumar L et al. – Journal of Clinical Microbiology, December 29, 2017
The authors designed two recombinant antigens displaying unique antigenic regions on domain I (Z-EDI) and domain III (Z-EDIII) of ZIKV envelope protein. They found that the Z-EDIII antigen has much potential as a diagnostic antigen for population level surveillance and for detecting past infections in patients.
Innovative and new approaches to laboratory diagnosis of Zika and dengue: a meeting report
Goncalves A et al. – Journal of Infectious Diseases, December 25, 2017 [Epub ahead of print]
This meeting report, from a workshop organized by the Partnership for Dengue Control, reviews the current landscape of Flavivirus diagnostics and makes recommendations for facilitating the development and evaluation of new diagnostic tools.
Ontogeny of the B- and T-cell response in a primary Zika virus infection of a dengue-naïve individual during the 2016 outbreak in Miami, FL
Ricciardi MJ et al. - PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, December 21, 2017
The authors present one of the first cases of ZIKV infection, in a dengue-naïve individual, which had been locally acquired in the United States. It is the first study to establish the timing of the ontogeny of the immune response against ZIKV.
Association between microcephaly, Zika virus infection, and other risk factors in Brazil: final report of a case-control study
Thalia Velho Barreto de Araújo et al. – The Lancet Infectious Diseases, December 2017
This is the final report of the first case-control study evaluating the potential causes of microcephaly: congenital Zika virus infection, vaccines, and larvicides. The study confirms the association between microcephaly and congenital Zika virus infection and provides evidence of the absence of an effect of other potential factors, such as exposure to pyriproxyfen or vaccines during pregnancy.
Zika virus in semen: a prospective cohort study of symptomatic travellers returning to Belgium
Huits et al. - Bulletin of the World Health Organization, December 2017
The majority of men in this study of Belgian travellers with confirmed Zika virus infection had detectable Zika virus RNA in their semen. Based on the study results, the authors recommend that semen from Zika virus-infected men should be analysed with RT-PCR and that health professionals should advise infected men, even if they are vasectomized, about current recommendations for prevention of sexual transmission of the virus.
ZikaPLAN: Zika Preparedness Latin American Network
A. Wilder-Smith et al. - Global Health Action, December 2017
This study design article describes the ZikaPLAN consortium and how it is working to address research gaps around ZIKV and build long-term emerging infectious disease response capacity in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Prevalence and clinical profile of microcephaly in South America pre-Zika, 2005-14: prevalence and case-control study
I. Orioli et al. – BMJ, November 21, 2017
This study describes the prevalence and clinical spectrum of microcephaly in South America for the period 2005-14, before the start of the Zika epidemic in 2015. The authors establish a baseline for the prevalence of diagnosed microcephaly before the Zika epidemic that can serve for future surveillance and show that, even in non-Zika times, the potential effects of infectious and non-infectious causes of abnormal brain development should not be ignored.
Lineage-Specific Real-Time RT-PCR for Yellow Fever Virus Outbreak Surveillance, Brazil
Carlo Fischer et al. – Emerging Infectious Diseases, November 2017
The authors describe novel multiplex real-time reverse transcription PCRs that differentiate between vaccine and American wild-type YFV. Such assays could address the need to discriminate between potential vaccination-associated events and wild-type virus infection in symptomatic patients for large-scale deployment of vaccines.
Behavioral, climatic, and environmental risk factors for Zika and Chikungunya virus infections in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 2015-16
Trevon L. Fuller et al. – PLOSone, November 16, 2017
The study aimed to identify environmental drivers of arbovirus epidemics to predict where the next epidemics will occur and prioritize municipalities for vector control and eventual vaccination. The findings show that rainfall appears to precede ZIKV and CHIKV epidemics and this suggests that an early warning system based on weather that predicts these outbreaks a few weeks in advance would help policy-makers and clinicians to prepare countermeasures.
Prior Dengue virus exposure shapes T cell immunity to Zika virus in humans
Alba Grifoni et al. – Journal of Virology, October 2017
The authors of this accepted manuscript investigate the kinetics and viral epitopes targeted by T cells responding to ZIKV and address the critical question of whether pre-existing dengue virus (DENV) T cell immunity modulates these responses. The data show that memory T cell responses elicited by prior infection with DENV recognize ZIKV-derived peptides and that DENV exposure prior to ZIKV infection influences the timing, magnitude and quality of the T cell response. The findings also show that ZIKV-specific responses target different proteins than DENV-specific responses.
Symptomatic dengue infection during pregnancy and the risk of stillbirth in Brazil, 2006–12: a matched case-control study
Enny S Paixão et al. - The Lancet Infectious Diseases, September 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.
Structural investigation of C6/36 and Vero cell cultures infected with a Brazilian Zika virus
Debora Ferreira Barreto-Vieira et al. - PLOSone, September 2017
The study demonstrated the susceptibility of C6/36 and Vero cells to ZIKV infection and showed that part of the replicative cycle may occur within viroplasm-like structures, which has not been previously demonstrated in other flaviviruses.
Zika genomics urgently need standardized and curated reference sequences
Kristof Theys et al. - PLOS Pathogens, September 7, 2017
In this article, it is demonstrated that, while the proliferation of genomic data offers new opportunities for comparative and evolutionary genomics of ZIKV, the rapid advance in ZIKV genomics has resulted in inconsistencies that complicate the interpretation, reproducibility, and comparison of findings from and across studies.
Extensive Genetic Differentiation between Homomorphic Sex Chromosomes in the Mosquito Vector, Aedes aegypti
Albin Fontaine et al. - 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.
Rapid antigen tests for dengue virus serotypes and Zika virus in patient serum
Irene Bosch et al. - Science Translational Medicine, September 27, 2017
The authors describe how incorporating monoclonal antibodies into an immunochromatography format yielded a rapid diagnostic assay that identified the four dengue serotypes and Zika viral infections without cross-reaction when testing human serum samples from endemic areas in Central and South America and in India. This approach could be useful for developing rapid diagnostics for other emerging pathogens.
Replication of the Zika virus in different iPSC-derived neuronal cells and implications to assess efficacy of antivirals
Kristina Lanko et al. - Science Direct, September 2017
In this article, the authors highlight the need to assess the potential antiviral activity of novel ZIKV inhibitors in stem cell derived neuronal cultures.
Uncovering the Repertoire of Endogenous Flaviviral Elements in Aedes Mosquito Genomes
Yasutsugu Suzuki et al. - 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.
Infectious causes of microcephaly: epidemiology, pathogenesis, diagnosis, and management
Delan Devakumar et al. - The Lancet Infectious Diseases, August 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.
Risk of Zika-related microcephaly: stable or variable?
Laura C. Rodrigues et al. - The Lancet, August 2017
The authors comment on the important question of whether the risk of microcephaly (and congenital Zika syndrome) after infection with Zika virus during pregnancy varies according to setting and highlight the role of cohort studies of pregnant women to provide robust answers.
How do biting disease vectors behaviourally respond to host availability?
Laith Yakob - BioMed Central, August 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.
Characteristics of Dysphagia in Infants with Microcephaly Caused by Congenital Zika Virus Infection, Brazil 2015
Mariana C. Leal et al. – 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. They show that dysphagia resulting from Congenital Zika Syndrome microcephaly is severe and has onset after 3 months of age.
Zika virus tropism and interactions in myelinating neural cell cultures: CNS cells and myelin are preferentially affected
Stephanie L. Cumberworth et al. - Acta Neuropathologica Communications Neuroscience of Disease, June 2017
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.
On the Origin and Timing of Zika Virus Introduction in Brazil
Eduardo Massad et al. – Epidemiology & Infection, June 2017
In this study, mathematical models are applied to determine the most likely time window of ZIKV introduction in Brazil.
The complex relationship between the emerging flaviviruses: dengue and Zika
Tan et al. – The Biochemist, June 2017
In this article, the authors examine the effects of dengue and Zika sero-cross-reactivity, the similarities and differences between them and the common and unique characteristics of mosquito-borne flaviviruses.
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.”
Aedes aegypti Control Through Modernized, Integrated Vector Management
Laith Yakob et al. – PLOS Current Outbreaks, January 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.
Comparative Analysis of Dengue and Zika Outbreaks Reveals Differences by Setting and Virus
Sebastian Funk et al. - PLOS Currents: Outbreaks, December 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.
Low risk of a sexually-transmitted Zika virus outbreak
Laith Yakob et al. - 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.
Zika and Other Emerging Viruses: Aiming at the Right Target
Kai Dallmeier et al. - Cell Host & Microbe 20, October 2016
The authors 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.
How did Zika virus emerge in the Pacific Islands and Latin America?
Pettersson JH et al. – mBio, September-October, 2016
Based on comparative ZIKV complete genome phylogenetic analyses and temporal estimates, the article identifies amino acid substitutions that may be associated with increased viral epidemicity, CZVS, and GBS. Reverse genetics, vector competence, and seroepidemiological studies test the hypothesis that these amino acid substitutions are determinants of epidemic and neurotropic ZIKV emergence.