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.
The association between Zika virus infection and microcephaly in Brazil 2015–2017: An observational analysis of over 4 million birthsby Brady et al.
This study strengthens the evidence that congenital ZIKV infection, particularly in the first 2 trimesters of pregnancy, is associated with microcephaly and less frequently with other birth defects. The finding of no alternative causes for geographic differences in microcephaly rate lead the authors to hypothesize that the Northeast region of Brazil was disproportionately affected by this Zika outbreak, with 94% of an estimated 8.5 million total cases occurring in this region, suggesting a need for seroprevalence surveys to determine the underlying reason.
Correspondence re: Familiar barriers still unresolved - a perspective on the Zika virus outbreak research response
In Suriname, 770 participants were recruited from 1 urban area and 2 rural villages in the tropical rainforest in order to conduct a ZIKV serosurvey. Researchers found that 35.1% of the participants had neutralizing antibodies against ZIKV. In 1 remote village in the rainforest, 24.5% of the participants had neutralizing antibodies against ZIKV, suggesting that ZIKV was widely spread across the country.
Screening of 533 bats for influenza A viruses showed subtype HL18NL11 in intestines of 2 great fruit-eating bats (Artibeus lituratus). High concentrations suggested fecal shedding.
Recurrent recent arbovirus infections suggested by serologic data and unspecific symptoms highlight the need for exhaustive virologic testing.
Combination of ELISA screening and seroneutralisation tests to expedite Zika virus seroprevalence studiesby Nurtop et al.
The authors of this study propose a strategy allowing implementing efficient and practicable large-scale seroepidemiological studies for Zika Virus (ZIKV).
Human stem cell-derived hepatocyte-like cells support Zika virus replication and provide a relevant model to assess the efficacy of potential antiviralsby Tricot et al.
The authors of this study demonstrate that both human pluripotent stem cell (hPSC)-derived hepatocyte-like cells (HLCs) and the Huh7 hepatoma cell line support the complete ZIKV replication cycle.
Letter to the Editor
A yellow fever–Zika chimeric virus vaccine candidate protects against Zika infection and congenital malformations in miceby Kum et al.
The authors of this study report the engineering of a chimeric virus vaccine candidate (YF-ZIKprM/E) by replacing the antigenic surface glycoproteins and the capsid anchor of YFV-17D with those of a prototypic Asian lineage ZIKV isolate.
Within the Zika virus (ZIKV) research community, a new and remarkable kind of collaboration is taking placeby EU Zika Consortia
Favipiravir inhibits in vitro Usutu virus replication and delays disease progression in an infection model in miceby Guerrero et al.
This study shows that treatment of mice with favipiravir (150 mg/kg/dose, BID, oral gavage) significantly reduced viral load in blood and tissues and significantly delayed virus-induced disease. The USUV mouse model is amenable for assessing the potential in vivo efficacy of (novel) USUV/flavivirus inhibitors.
The authors of this study have identified three major bottlenecks in the implementation of a swift response to the increasing frequency of widespread infectious disease outbreaks: the absence of a timeline for the funding process, delays in regulatory and ethical approval, and the challenging logistics of laboratory support, including diagnostics.
The model provided in this study correctly estimates the number of imported cases and can be easily adapted to other urban areas where Ae. albopictus is the only potential vector present.
Research Models and Tools for the Identification of Antivirals and Therapeutics against Zika Virus Infectionby Alves et al.
This review focuses on the recent advances regarding research models, as well as available experimental tools that can be used for the identification and characterization of potential antiviral targets and therapeutic intervention strategies.
The findings from this study suggest a possible long-term detrimental effect of ZIKV infection on human male fertility that has to be further explored in well-characterized samples from cohort studies conducted in ZIKV-endemic areas.
The findings in this article suggest that the ZIKV epidemic is by and large over within LAC, with incidence projected to be low in most cities in 2018. Local low levels of transmission are probable, but the estimated rate of infection suggests that most cities have a population with high levels of herd immunity.
This study provides key insights into how ZIKV may persist in semen and alter semen parameters, as well as a valuable tool for testing antiviral agents.
Differential transmission of Asian and African Zika virus lineages by Aedes aegypti from New Caledoniaby Calvez et al.
The results of this study demonstrate that Ae. aegypti from New Caledonia can become infected and replicate different ZIKV strains belonging to all lineages. These data emphasize the importance of studying the interaction between vectors and their arboviruses according to each local geographic context.