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Zika genomics urgently need standardized and curated reference sequences

By Theys K, Libin P, Dallmeier K, et al.

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.

Published in: PLoS Pathog. 2017;13(9):e1006528

 

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Neurologic Complications Associated With the Zika Virus in Brazilian Adults

By Da Silva IRF, Frontera JA, Bispo de Filippis AM, Nascimento OJMD; RIO-GBS-ZIKV Research Group. 

There are no prospective cohort studies assessing the incidence and spectrum of neurologic manifestations secondary to Zika virus (ZIKV) infection in adults. The article reports on the observational cohort study whose objective was to evaluate the rates of acute ZIKV infection among patients hospitalized with Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS), meningoencephalitis, or transverse myelitis.

Published in: JAMA Neurol. 2017 Aug 14.

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Antibody-based assay discriminates Zika virus infection from other flaviviruses

By Balmaseda A, Stettler K, Medialdea-Carrera R, Collado D, Jin X, Zambrana JV, Jaconi S, Cameroni E, Saborio S, Rovida F, Percivalle E, Ijaz S, Dicks S, Ushiro-Lumb I, Barzon L, Siqueira PBrown DWG, Baldanti F, Tedder R, Zambon M, de Filippis AMB, Harris E, Corti D.

Zika virus (ZIKV) is a mosquito-borne flavivirus that emerged recently as a global health threat, causing a pandemic in the Americas. ZIKV infection mostly causes mild disease, but is linked to devastating congenital birth defects and Guillain-Barré syndrome in adults. The high level of cross-reactivity among flaviviruses and their cocirculation has complicated serological approaches to differentially detect ZIKV and dengue virus (DENV) infections, accentuating the urgent need for a specific and sensitive serological test. We previously generated a ZIKV nonstructural protein 1 (NS1)-specific human monoclonal antibody, which we used to develop an NS1-based competition ELISA. Well-characterized samples from RT-PCR-confirmed patients with Zika and individuals exposed to other flavivirus infections or vaccination were used in a comprehensive analysis to determine the sensitivity and specificity of the NS1 blockade-of-binding (BOB) assay, which was established in laboratories in five countries (Nicaragua, Brazil, Italy, United Kingdom, and Switzerland). Of 158 sera/plasma from RT-PCR-confirmed ZIKV infections, 145 (91.8%) yielded greater than 50% inhibition. Of 171 patients with primary or secondary DENV infections, 152 (88.9%) scored negative. When the control group was extended to patients infected by other flaviviruses, other viruses, or healthy donors (n = 540), the specificity was 95.9%. We also analyzed longitudinal samples from DENV-immune and DENV-naive ZIKV infections and found inhibition was achieved within 10 d postonset of illness and maintained over time. Thus, the Zika NS1 BOB assay is sensitive, specific, robust, simple, low-cost, and accessible, and can detect recent and past ZIKV infections for surveillance, seroprevalence studies, and intervention trials.

Published in: Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2017Aug 1;114(31):8384-8389.

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Accuracy of Zika virus disease case definition during simultaneous Dengue and Chikungunya epidemics

By Braga JU, Bressan C, Dalvi APR, Calvet GA, Daumas RP, Rodrigues N, Wakimoto M, Nogueira RMR, Nielsen-Saines K, Brito C, Bispo de Filippis AM, Brasil P

Zika is a new disease in the American continent and its surveillance is of utmost importance, especially because of its ability to cause neurological manifestations as Guillain-Barré syndrome and serious congenital malformations through vertical transmission. The detection of suspected cases by the surveillance system depends on the case definition adopted. As the laboratory diagnosis of Zika infection still relies on the use of expensive and complex molecular techniques with low sensitivity due to a narrow window of detection, most suspected cases are not confirmed by laboratory tests, mainly reserved for pregnant women and newborns. In this context, an accurate definition of a suspected Zika case is crucial in order for the surveillance system to gauge the magnitude of an epidemic.

Published in: PLoS One. 2017 Jun 26;12(6):e0179725. 

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Zika virus infection-associated acute transient polyneuritis

By Nascimento OJM, Frontera JA, Amitrano DA, Bispo de Filippis AM, Da Silva IRF; RIO-GBS-ZIKV Research Group. 

This article describes a case series of 3 patients admitted to a tertiary hospital in Rio de Janeiro during the 2016 outbreak of Zika virus infection in Brazil.

Published in: Neurology 2017 Jun 13;88(24):2330-2332.

 

 

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Trends of Microcephaly and Severe Arthrogryposis in Three Urban Hospitals following the Zika, Chikungunya and Dengue Fever Epidemics of 2016 in Jamaica

By James-Powell T., Brown Y., Christie CDC., Melbourne-Chambers R., Moore JT., Morgan O., Butler B., Swaby K., Garbutt A., Anzinger J., Pierre RB., Onyonyor A., Bryan L., Palmer PM, Mitchell P., Johnson P., Bishop K., Jaggon JR., De La Haye W. 

Jamaica experienced its maiden Zika virus (ZIKV) epidemic in 2016, while dengue (serotypes 3 and 4) and chikungunya were also circulating. In this article, we describe initial trends in microcephaly and arthrogryposis observed by the clinicians from three urban birthing facilities during late 2016 to early 2017.

Published in: West Indian Medical Journal, 2017; 66:10-19 and Epub-ahead-of-print, 12 Jun, 2017; DOI 10.7727/wimj.2017.124. 

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Achieving Elimination of Vertical Transmission of HIV in Jamaica

By Christie CDC, Palmer PM, Tomlinson J., Green-Douglas T., Hamilton M., Pierre RB.,  Hylton-Kong T., Morgan O., Barrow G., Mitchell P., Skyers N., Stevens E-J., Condell-Gibson N, Harvey KM.

Jamaica is an upper middle-income developing Caribbean island-nation, population 2.8 million, with a generalized and mixed HIV epidemic. We report progress towards achieving international validation standards for the elimination of vertical transmission of HIV and syphilis in Jamaica during 2013 through 2015.

Published in: Annals of Public Health and Research 2017:4(2);1091-9.

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Maternal Zika Virus Disease Severity, Virus Load, Prior Dengue Antibodies and their Relationship to Birth Outcomes

By Halai UA, Nielsen-Saines K, Moreira ME, Sequeira PC, Pereira Junior JP, Zin AA, Cherry JD, Gabaglia CR, Gaw SL, Adachi K, Tsui I, Pilotto JH, Ribeiro Nogueira RM, Bispo de Filippis AM, Brasil P. 

Congenital Zika virus (ZIKV) syndrome is a newly identified condition resulting from infection during pregnancy. We analyzed outcome data from a mother-infant cohort in Rio de Janeiro in order to assess whether clinical severity of maternal ZIKV infection was associated with maternal virus load, prior dengue antibodies or abnormal pregnancy/infant outcomes.

Published in: Clin Infect Dis. 2017 May 23.

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Update on Zika: What You Need to Know

By Sáfadi MA, Nascimento-Carvalho CM

After remaining related to few sporadic cases in limited regions for more than half century since its discovery, Zika virus (ZIKV) was recently introduced into the Western Hemisphere, first in Brazil and then spreading very rapidly in the Americas. Unexpectedly, an increased incidence of microcephaly and other neurologic malformations in fetuses born to mothers infected with ZIKV during pregnancy was reported in Brazil, leading the World Health Organization to declare this situation a Public Health Emergency of International Concern

Published in: Pediatr Infect Dis J. 2017 Mar;36(3):333-336. doi: 10.1097/INF.0000000000001449.

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Zika virus disrupts molecular fingerprinting of human neurospheres

By Garcez PP, Nascimento JM, de Vasconcelos JM, Madeiro da Costa R, Delvecchio R, Trindade P, Loiola EC, Higa LM, Cassoli JS, Vitória G, Sequeira PC, Sochacki J, Aguiar RS, Fuzii HT, de Filippis AMB, da Silva Gonçalves Vianez Júnior JL, Tanuri A, Martins-de-Souza D, Rehen SK. 

Zika virus (ZIKV) has been associated with microcephaly and other brain abnormalities; however, the molecular consequences of ZIKV to human brain development are still not fully understood. Here we describe alterations in human neurospheres derived from induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells infected with the strain of Zika virus that is circulating in Brazil. Combining proteomics and mRNA transcriptional profiling, over 500 proteins and genes associated with the Brazilian ZIKV infection were found to be differentially expressed. These genes and proteins provide an interactome map, which indicates that ZIKV controls the expression of RNA processing bodies, miRNA biogenesis and splicing factors required for self-replication. It also suggests that impairments in the molecular pathways underpinning cell cycle and neuronal differentiation are caused by ZIKV. These results point to biological mechanisms implicated in brain malformations, which are important to further the understanding of ZIKV infection and can be exploited as therapeutic potential targets to mitigate it.

Published in: Sci Rep. 2017 Jan 23;7:40780.

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