Katharine Best, Jeremie Guedj, Vincent Madelain, Xavier de Lamballerie, So-Yon Lim, Christa E. Osuna, James B. Whitney, and Alan S. Perelson
In light of the recent outbreak of Zika virus (ZIKV), an understanding of the within-host viral dynamics is essential to assess persistence in vivo, transmission risk, and antiviral therapeutics. Using mathematical modeling we find that, in nonhuman primates, the viral dynamics of ZIKV are characterized by a short lifetime of infected cells (less than 10 h) during which enough viral particles are produced to infect ∼11 other cells. Higher disease burden is associated with changes in natural killer cell subset concentrations and with elevated expression of the cytokine MCP-1, although the mechanisms behind these associations remain unclear. 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.