Data from this study support a link between maternal ZIKV infection and congenital malformations and suggest the occurrence of predominantly vector-borne ZIKV transmission in these cases. In addition, some highly prevalent TORCH pathogens may be misinterpreted as representative of ongoing ZIKV activity in the absence of exhaustive diagnostics in northeastern Brazil.

8th August 2018 • comment

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.

3rd July 2018 • comment

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.

9th May 2018 • comment

The authors conducted field work in Brazil to sample marsupials, one of the most ancient mammalian lineages, and identified a new HAV, marsupial HAV (MHAV).

25th April 2018 • comment

The results from this study emphasize the need for continuous quality assessments of Zika virus diagnostic testing globally.

17th April 2018 • comment

Researchers found no significant association between ZIKV infection and GBS in Bangladesh, but GBS following ZIKV infection was characterized by a distinct clinical and electrophysiological subtype compared to C. jejuni infection. These findings indicate that ZIKV may precede a specific GBS subtype but the risk is low.

6th April 2018 • comment

According to the authors, SuPReMe, therefore, represents an effective and promising option for the rapid generation of clonal recombinant populations of single-stranded positive-sense RNA viruses.

21st March 2018 • comment

The risk of congenital neurologic defects related to Zika virus (ZIKV) infection has ranged from 6 to 42% in various reports. The aim of this study was to estimate this risk among pregnant women with symptomatic ZIKV infection in French territories in the Americas.

15th March 2018 • comment

The authors conclude that ZIKV has been circulating in Bolivian tropical areas but not in highlands, and that the epidemic has not been limited by previous immunity against dengue. Specific attention should be paid to the region of Santa Cruz, where the seroprevalence is still limited, but the density of Aedes aegypti populations makes plausible further spreading of the disease.

7th March 2018 • comment

According to the authors of this study, mosquito control measures should remain focused on the mosquito Ae. aegypti which is also the vector of CHIKV and DENV, and much more research effort should be allocated to fill the knowledge gaps about this virus.

2nd March 2018 • comment

Data in this article suggest ancestral co-speciation of hepadnaviruses and NHP, and an Old World origin of the divergent HBV genotypes F/H. The identification of a novel primate hepadnavirus offers new perspectives for urgently needed animal models of chronic hepatitis B.

8th February 2018 • comment

Since December 2016, Brazil has experienced an unusually large outbreak of yellow fever (YF). Whether urb a n transmission may contribute to the extent of the outbreak is unclear. The objective of this study was to characterize YF virus (YFV) genomes and to identify spatial patterns to determine thedistribution and origin of YF cases in Minas Gerais, Espírito Santo and Rio de Janeiro, the most affected Brazilian states during the current YFV outbreak.

7th February 2018 • comment

In this study researchers show that ZIKV containing BeH819015 structural proteins is much less efficient in cell-attachment leading to a reduced susceptibility ofepithelial A549 and neuronal SH-SY5Y cells to viral infection.

1st February 2018 • comment

The authors of this study tested nonhuman primates (NHP) sampled during 2012 to 2017 in urban and peri-urban areas severely affected by ZIKV and CHIKV in Brazil. Seroprevalence and antibody titers were low for both viruses. Additionally, they found evidence for infection by heterologous viruses eliciting cross-reactive antibodies. These data suggest that urban or peri-urban NHP are not easily infected by ZIKV and CHIKV despite intense local transmission, and they may also imply that the ZIKV and CHIKV outbreaks in the Americas cannot be sustained in urban or peri-urban NHP once human population immunity limits urban transmission cycles.

31st January 2018 • comment

In this article, the authors review current knowledge on motifs A-G, defined as the conserved amino-acid sequence strings shared by enzymes, and their role on the structural and mechanistic basis of the fidelity of nucleotide selection and RNA synthesis by Flavivirus RdRps.

30th January 2018 • comment

The findings of this study have implications for the development of multifaceted infection control programs, including strategies for prevention and awareness, helping the population to develop an accurate perception of the threat they are facing and encouraging behavior changes.

25th January 2018 • comment

The authors of this study 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.

9th January 2018 • comment

The authors of this article demonstrated that recombinant ZIKV NS1 expressed in mammalian cells stably transduced with a lentiviral vector is suitable for inducing the production of specific antibody directed against NS1 oligomer. According to the authors, anti-ZIKV immune serum could be a great tool for the specific detection of secreted NS1 hexamer in human cells infected with ZIKV of African and Asia lineages, including contemporary epidemic strains.

23rd December 2017 • comment

In this study, researchers assessed for the first time the venereal transmission of ZIKV between Aedes aegypti under laboratory conditions. Their conclusion is that venereal transmission between Aedes mosquitoes might contribute to Zika virus maintenance in nature.

15th December 2017 • comment

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.

14th December 2017 • comment

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.

12th December 2017 • comment

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.

30th November 2017 • comment

In this article, authors find that the high burden of Zika virus infection in a northeastern Brazilian metropolis questions the fate of the outbreak due to population protective immunity; that Zika virus infection predominantly affects geographic areas with low socioeconomic status, demonstrating a clear link between poverty and Zika virus infection; and, finally, additional evidence for the link between Zika virus infection and microcephaly.

14th November 2017 • comment

A study published this week in mBio demonstrates rapid spread of ZIKV in Salvador, a metropolis in northeastern Brazil representing one of the most affected areas during the American ZIKV outbreak, and infection rates exceeding 60%.

14th November 2017 • comment

This study shows that the extrinsic incubation period of Ae. aegypti for transmission is shorter than that of Ae. albopictus.

10th November 2017 • comment

In 2015–2016 in the Recife Metropolitan Region, the authors of this study detected the tail end of a Zika epidemic, which was displaced by a chikungunya epidemic. Few dengue cases were identified despite a high number of official dengue notifications in the area during this period. This study shows here important epidemiological features of these cases.

6th November 2017 • comment

The authors of this study found that Culex quinquefasciatus does not support ZIKV replication and Wolbachia is not involved in producing this phenotype. These mosquitoes are therefore very unlikely to play a role in transmission of ZIKV.

27th October 2017 • comment

In order to overcome potential technological issues related to the study of arboviruses, the authors of this study designed an improved DNA transfection protocol for insect cells and then demonstrated that the simple and flexible ISA (Infectious Subgenomic Amplicons) reverse-genetics method can be efficiently applied to both mammalian and mosquito cells to generate in days recombinant infectious positive-stranded RNA viruses belonging to genera Flavivirus (Japanese encephalitis, Yellow fever, West Nile and Zika viruses) and Alphavirus (Chikungunya virus). 

27th October 2017 • comment

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.

23rd October 2017 • comment

Results from this study suggest that ZIKV has mechanisms to evade mosquito innate immunity and it is therefore important to understand virus-vector interactions and the implications they have on transmission.

23rd October 2017 • comment

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.

12th October 2017 • comment

Results from this study suggest that despite the inter-individual variability in immune responses, the magnitude of the maternal ZIKV-specific neutralizing antibody response may prove useful to corroborate congenital ZIKV infection, contributing to reliable estimates of the manifestation index of ZIKV-associated congenital disease. Further studies will be needed to evaluate the time-course of maternal neutralizing antibody responses to identify whether a high maternal PRNT titer can be used as an early marker of congenital infection aiding potential antiviral intervention strategies.

9th October 2017 • comment

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.

20th September 2017 • comment

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.

8th September 2017 • comment

This study demonstrates for the first time that motor neurons support ZIKV replication and these cells are as a consequence of ZIKV replication destroyed by the virus, and that human iPSC derived neuronal cells offer a physiologically relevant system to assess the potential antiviral effect of small molecule inhibitors of viral replication that are being developed to clear ZIKV infections in the nervous system.

1st September 2017 • comment

Researchers have demonstrated that the recent ZIKV outbreak in Latin America substantially affects the DENV serology in routine diagnostic laboratories.

22nd August 2017 • comment

Results from this study indicate that bats do not sustain sufficient virus amplification in order to function as reservoirs and exclude them as players in the dengue virus transmission cycle.

22nd August 2017 • comment

Researchers found that in order for an antiviral treatment to effectively reduce the time to plasma viral clearance therapy should be initiated at the time of infection or given prophylactically.

15th August 2017 • comment

Taken together, this study shows that African and Asian ZIKV strains differ in their abilities to infect and replicate in different neural cells, as well as their abilities to cause cell death early after infection. This implies that caution is necessary against extrapolation of experimental data obtained using historical African ZIKV strains to the current outbreak. In addition, the fact that Asian ZIKV strains infect only a minority of cells with a relatively low burst size together with the lack of early cell death induction might contribute to their ability to cause chronic infections within the CNS.

26th July 2017 • comment

This study showed the up-regulation of several detoxification genes of multiple enzyme families associated with metabolic resistance, and the presence of the two kdr mutations, with the F1534C being fixed. Another suggested mechanism probably involved in the resistance phenotype is cuticle thickening, as several cuticle genes were found overexpressed. This study reinforces the importance of alternative control strategies to suppress Ae. aegypti population and thus reduce the likelihood of arbovirus transmission in the region.

24th July 2017 • comment

In this study, the authors select examples of (re)emerging pathogenic arboviruses and explain the reasons for their emergence and different patterns of dispersal, focusing particularly on the mosquito vectors which are important determinants of arbovirus emergence. They also attempt to identify arboviruses likely to (re)emerge in the future.

1st July 2017 • comment

Results from this study further indicate that viruses from northeast Brazil were important for the continental spread of ZIKV. Within Brazil, the authors find instances of virus lineage movement from northeast to southeast Brazil; most of these events are dated to the second half of 2014 and led to onwards transmission in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo states. The authors infer that ZIKV lineages disseminated from northeast Brazil to elsewhere in Central America, the Caribbean, and South America.

29th June 2017 • comment

The study shows that Culex quinquefasciatus should not be considered a potential vector of ZIKV in Brazil.

28th June 2017 • comment

This study shows that imipramine strongly inhibits the replication of several Flaviviridae family members, including Zika, West Nile and Dengue virus. These data show that this compound is a potential drug candidate for anti-arboviral treatment.

12th June 2017 • comment

The findings from this study indicate that the immunity of the Cameroonian population against ZIKV is low and that circulation in urban populations is uncommon. Hence, the risk of epidemic spread of ZIKV does exist. The virus is likely to be imported by infected travelers coming from epidemic areas and has the potential to be transmitted by local peri-domestic mosquitoes. This study provides biological evidence that such introduction would occur in populations that are globally immunologically naïve against ZIKV infection and live in areas where potential epidemic vectors exist.

25th May 2017 • comment

The authors of this article describe inhibition of ZIKV replication by suramin, originally an anti-parasitic drug. They suggest that the inhibitory effect of suramin on ZIKV attachment and virion biogenesis and its broadspectrum activity warrant further evaluation of this compound as a potential therapeutic.

17th May 2017 • comment

Based on the reported data from Brazil in 2015/16, this publication describes a plausible range for the risk of microcephaly in women who were infected with Zika virus during pregnancy compared to those who were not infected. The key message is that the large uncertainty around the risk estimate needs to be further investigated because of a) the possible existence of co-factors that are yet to be validated, b) the assumptions that need be made for the proportion of women who were infected during pregnancy.

10th March 2017 • comment

In addition to representing the first ZIKV full-length NS5 activity report at the molecular level, this study should help the design of pan-flavivirus drugs aiming at the control of many Flavivirus members of this large family of emerging arboviruses, as well as understand the basis of re-purposing drugs against emerging viral diseases.

21st February 2017 • comment

The results outlined in the article contribute to a better understanding of the ZIKVMTase, a central player in viral replication and host innate immune response, and lay the basis for the development of potential antiviral drugs.

21st February 2017 • comment

This study showcases the contribution of modeling to inform local health-care planning during an outbreak. Timely studies that estimate the proportion of infected persons that seek care are needed to improve the predictive power of such approaches.

15th February 2017 • comment

Researchers demonstrate that strategically combining the suppression methods with Wolbachia can generate a sustained control while mitigating the risks of inadvertent exacerbation of the wild mosquito population.

30th January 2017 • comment

The article concludes that infection with Flaviviridae can increase centrosome numbers and impair spindle positioning, thus potentially contributing to microcephaly in the case of Zika.

18th January 2017 • comment

This study describes for the first time the specific antiviral gene expression in infected primary human astrocytes, the major glial cells within the central nervous system.

14th January 2017 • comment

This pioneering study suggests that the study of blood donors during outbreaks of emerging pathogens has become a key element of epidemiological surveillance.

12th January 2017 • comment

This study highlights the dual role of Axl during ZIKV infection of glial cells: promoting viral entry and modulating innate immune responses. Therefore, inhibiting Axl function may represent a potential target for future antiviral therapies.

11th January 2017 • comment

By using the bacterium-free ‘Infectious Subgenomic Amplicons’ (ISA) method, this study provides the scientific community with two simple and performing reverse genetics systems for ZIKV.

19th December 2016 • comment

The article argues that the off-label use of drugs that may protect against Zika virus-induced brain damage has to be balanced with their risk during pregnancy.

12th October 2016 • comment

Based on comparative ZIKV complete genome phylogenetic analyses and temporal estimates, the authors identify amino acid substitutions that may be associated with increased viral epidemicity, CZVS, and GBS. Reverse genetics, vector competence, and seroepidemiological studies will test the hypothesis that these amino acid substitutions are determinants of epidemic and neurotropic ZIKV emergence.

11th October 2016 • comment