The Zika virus: a new threat?


Supplement : Abstracts of the 2016 International Symposium on HIV and Emerging Infectious Diseases (ISHEID)

Journal of Virus Eradication 2016; 2 supplement 1

Abstract No : S6

Author(s):

Nikolaos Vasilakis

Institute for Human Infections and Immunity, Galveston, Texas, USA

Abstract :

Zika virus (ZIKV), a previously obscure flavivirus closely related to dengue, Spondweni and yellow fever viruses, re-emerged in 2007 to cause a series of rolling epidemics in the South Pacific and most recently in the Americas reaching pandemic levels. ZiKV, who has been originated and evolved in sub-Saharan Africa, it spread in the distant past to Asia and has probably re-emerged on multiple occasions into human transmission cycles involving Aedes (Stegomyia) spp. mosquitoes and human amplification hosts. Like many other arboviruses, it is often misdiagnosed because its mild flu-like illness resembling mild dengue-like illness. The unprecedented numbers of people infected during recent outbreaks in the South Pacific and the Americas may have resulted in enough ZIKV infections to notice relatively rare congenital microcephaly, Guillain–Barré and other rare ocular or auditory syndromes. Another hypothesis is that phenotypic changes in Asian lineage ZIKV strains led to these disease outcomes. Here, a review potential strategies to accurately diagnose and control the ongoing outbreak through vector-centric approaches as well as the prospects for the development of vaccines and therapeutics will be presented.

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