Recombination of B- and T-cell epitope-rich loci from Aedes- and Culex-borne flaviviruses shapes Zika virus epidemiologyby Gaunt et al.
Findings from this article explain 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.
With a low herd immunity in the Vientiane population, ZIKV represents a risk for future large-scale outbreaks. Implementation of a nationwide ZIKV surveillance network and epidemiological studies throughout Laos is needed.
Re-visiting the evolution, dispersal and epidemiology of Zika virus in Asia. A commentary from the authors.by Pettersson et al.
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.
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.
Phenotypic Differences between Asian and African Lineage Zika Viruses in Human Neural Progenitor Cellsby Anfasa et al.
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.