High specificity and sensitivity of Zika EDIII-based ELISA diagnosis highlighted by a large human reference panelby Denis et al.
Researchers developed a ZEDIII-based ELISA that can discriminate between past or current DENV and ZIKV infections, allowing the detection of a serological scar from other flaviviruses. This could be used to confirm exposure of pregnant women or to follow the spread of an endemic disease.
In this study, researchers confirmed the association of Anhanga virus (ANHV)‐related viruses with both extant two‐toed sloth species in the Choloepus genus across 3,000 km distance and half a century between the both detections.
ZIKAlliance and ReCoDID working together to promote data and sample sharing across infectious disease cohort studiesby ZIKAlliance
The authors of this study focus on solutions that address joint temporal and spatial visualization but also consider what the future may bring in terms of visualization and how this may become of value for the coming era of real-time digital pathogen surveillance, where actionable results and adequate intervention strategies need to be obtained within days.
Phylogeography and invasion history of Aedes aegypti, the Dengue and Zika mosquito vector in Cape Verde islands (West Africa)by Salgueiro et al.
The authors of this study performed a phylogeographic and population genetics study of A. aegypti in Cape Verde in order to infer the geographic origin and evolutionary history of this mosquito.
A snapshot on the impact of ZIKAlliance's scientific publications between December 2018 and April 2019by ZIKAlliance
Transmission potential of African, Asian and American Zika virus strains by Aedes aegypti and Culex quinquefasciatus from Guadeloupe (French West Indies)by Hery et al.
Culex quinquefasciatus mosquitoes from Guadeloupe are not able to experimentally transmit ZIKV. It was also noticed better transmission of ZIKV strain from Senegal by Ae. aegypti from Guadeloupe compared to Malaysia and Martinique strains.
This study offers an opportunity to strategically target surveillance and control programmes and thereby augment efforts to reduce arbovirus burden in human populations globally.
In this review, the authors summarize the results of the evidence to date and elaborate on other possible detrimental effects of cross-reactive flavivirus antibodies, both for ZIKV infection and the risk of ZIKV-related congenital anomalies, DENV infection, and dengue hemorrhagic fever.
This study characterized the contribution of household transmission in ZIKV epidemics, demonstrating the benefits of integrating multiple data sets to gain more insight into epidemic dynamics.
Data in this study suggest that the human upper respiratory tract epithelium is a target for flaviviruses and could potentially play a role in the spread of infection to other body compartments through basolateral virus release. Further work is required to evaluate the risks and define the adapted measures to protect individuals exposed to flavivirus-contaminated body fluids.
The recent discovery of endogenized elements shows that virus/vector interactions are more dynamic than previously thought, and genetic markers such as NIRVS could be one of the potential targets to reduce arbovirus transmission.
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.
Results obtained in this study suggest that the local transmission of four arboviruses - dengue (DENV), chikungunya (CHIKV), zika (ZIKV) and yellow fever (YFV) viruses - by Ae. albopictus newly introduced in Morocco is a likely scenario.
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.
Optimization of a fragment linking hit toward Dengue and Zika virus NS5 methyltransferases inhibitorsby Hernandez et al.
A fragment-based drug design approach on flavivirus methyltransferase.
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.
Researchers have developed and characterized a new in vitro model to study the role of bone development in ZIKV pathogenesis, which will help to identify possible new targets for developing therapeutic and preventive measures.
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.
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.
Results from this study indicate a low ZIKV transmission by Ae. aegypti and Ae. polynesiensis tested from the Pacific region. These results were unexpected and suggest the importance of other factors especially the vector density, the mosquito lifespan or the large immunologically naive fraction of the population that may have contributed to the rapid spread of the ZIKV in the Pacific region during the 2013–2017 outbreak.
4 EU-funded Zika consortia met in Marseille during the International Symposium to discuss a common strategy for vaccine developmentby ZIKAlliance
The results from this study emphasize the need for continuous quality assessments of Zika virus diagnostic testing globally.
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.
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.
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.
The structural proteins of epidemic and historical strains of Zika virus differ in their ability to initiate viral infection in human host cellsby Bos et al.
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.
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.
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.
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.
High Zika Virus Seroprevalence in Salvador, Northeastern Brazil Limits the Potential for Further Outbreaks [Press Release]by ZIKAlliance
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%.
Infection of a French Population of Aedes albopictus and of Aedes aegypti (Paea Strain) with Zika Virus Reveals Low Transmission Rates to These Vectors’ Salivaby Ryckebusch et al.
This study shows that the extrinsic incubation period of Ae. aegypti for transmission is shorter than that of Ae. albopictus.
First outbreak of Zika virus in the continental United States: a modelling analysis. A commentary from the authorsby ZIKAlliance
Marini et al provide a short commentary on their research article First outbreak of Zika virus in the continental United States: a modelling analysis published in September 2017 in Eurosurveillance. This was supported by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme under ZIKAlliance Grant Agreement no. 734548.
ClearColi BL21(DE3)-based expression of Zika virus antigens illustrates a rapid method of antibody production against emerging pathogensby Viranaicken et al.
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.
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.
Replication of the Zika virus in different iPSC-derived neuronal cells and implications to assess efficacy of antiviralsby Lanko et al.
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.
Researchers have demonstrated that the recent ZIKV outbreak in Latin America substantially affects the DENV serology in routine diagnostic laboratories.
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.
Zika plasma viral dynamics in nonhuman primates provides insights into early infection and antiviral strategiesby Best et al.
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.
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.
Imipramine Inhibits Chikungunya Virus Replication in Human Skin Fibroblasts through Interference with Intracellular Cholesterol Traffickingby Wichit et al.
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.
Suramin inhibits Zika virus replication by interfering with virus attachment and release of infectious particlesby Albulescu et al.
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.
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.
Substrate selectivity of Dengue and Zika virus NS5 polymerase towards 2'-modified nucleotide analoguesby Potisopon et al.
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.
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.
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.
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.
African and Asian Zika virus strains differentially induce early antiviral responses in primary human astrocytesby Hamel et al.
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.
This pioneering study suggests that the study of blood donors during outbreaks of emerging pathogens has become a key element of epidemiological surveillance.
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.
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.
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.
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.