Recent updates of Zika virus

Our recent review article by Aboushouk et al. was published in the Journal of Clinical Virology @Elsevier (IF=2.6). In this article, we are summarizing recent updates about the epidemiology, transmission, treatment, and control of Zika virus.

The current outbreak of Zika virus (ZIKV) in South America is one of the most serious public health emergencies since the Ebola outbreak of West Africa (2014). ZIKV belongs to flaviviridae family and has two lineages (Asian and African). The virus was first discovered in Uganda (1947) and the first human infection was identified in Nigeria (1952). The current epidemic is the third of its type after that of Yap island, Micronesia (2007) and that of French Polynesia (2013). Phylogenetic studies revealed that the current strain shares about 99.7% of nucleotides and 99.9% of amino acid with the strain French Polynesia epidemic (2013) suggesting that the ZIKV has spread across the Pacific Ocean to invade South America. Aedes Aegypti mosquito is the main vector for ZIKV and there are some reports describing possible sexual transmission and maternal to fetus transmission. ZIKV infection is known to be self-limited. However, recent reports suggest that the ZIKV is associated with neurological manifestations as Guillain Barre Syndrome and microcephaly within the newborn population. Currently, vector control seems to be the most effective available preventive measure against ZIKV. The development of broad spectrum antivirals and ZIKV vaccines should be addressed in the future research.

This review highlights the following:

  • RT PCR of urine samples seem to be the most reliable diagnosis for ZIKV.
  • A recent report described successful treatment of ZIKV by intravenous Xiyanping.
  • Vector control is the most effect prevention against ZIKV.
  • Future research should develop broad spectrum antivirals.
  • The association between ZIKV and microcephaly is now well-established.

Read the full article: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jcv.2016.09.012

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