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Unravelling the Zika virus epidemic through population-based research

By Christie CD, Giaquinto C. 

Zika virus epidemic now involves 72 countries, worldwide. Transmission is multimodal through mosquito bites and blood and body fluids. Zika virus causes Guillain Barre Syndrome syndrome and pregnancy complications including perinatal microcephaly. Diagnosis is complicated by subclinical infection in 80%, co-circulation with dengue and chikungunya fevers with similar presentations and cross-reactivity in serological tests. There is no cure, or preventive vaccine. Large population-based studies will help to elucidate ZIKV epidemiology, vertical transmission, risks to the fetus of maternal ZIKV infection and natural history of congenital and non-congenital ZIKV infection as provided by the activities in the “ZIKAction” research consortium in Latin America, Europe and the Caribbean, which was recently funded by the European Commission.

Published in: West Indian Medical Journal Sep, 2016;65(1):239-242; Epub, Oct, 2016, DOI:10.7727/wimj.2016.454.

Zika Virus: What Have We Learned?

by Sáfadi MA.

Zika virus (ZIKV) is an emerging arthropod-borne, enveloped RNA virus of the Flaviviridae family, which belongs to the genus Flavivirus, related to dengue, yellow fever, Japanese encephalitis, and West Nile viruses. Two major lineages, African and Asian, have been identified through phylogenetic analyses.

Published in: Am J Perinatol. 2016 Sep;33(11):1029-31. doi: 10.1055/s-0036-1586116. Epub 2016 Sep 7.

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Zika virus infection in pregnant women in Barcelona, Spain

by Bocanegra C, Sulleiro E, Soriano-Arandes A, Pou D, Suy A, Llurba E, Rodo C, Espasa M, Campins M, Martin A, Rodrigo C, Vazquez A, De Ory F, Sanchez-Seco MP, Pumarola T, Carreras E, Molina I.

This case series of two pregnant women infected with the Zika virus in Barcelona, Spain and provides an algorithm for diagnosing pregnant women with suspected ZIKV infection in non-endemic areas.

Published in: Clin Microbiol Infect. 2016 Jul;22(7):648-50. doi: 10.1016/j.cmi.2016.03.025. Epub 2016 Apr 6.

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Data sharing: A code of conduct for data on epidemics.

by Capua I

This correspondence urges Brazil to speed up reforms to current biosecurity legislation, enabling sharing of vital Zika virus samples and information.

Published in: Nature. Vol 534. England2016:326.

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Zika Virus Outbreak in Haiti in 2014: Molecular and Clinical Data.

by Kednicky J, Beau De Rochars VM, El Badry M, Loeb J, Telisma T, Chavannes S, Anilis G, Cella E, Ciccozzi M, Rashid M, Okech B, Salemi M, Morris JG Jr. 

This study on a cohort of Haitian children presenting with undifferentiated febrile illness three cases of ZIKV infection were identified in a single week, supporting the presence of an outbreak in the region.

Published in: PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases. 2016;10(4):e0004687. doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0004687.

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Zika virus and neurological disease-approaches to the unknown.

By Solomon T, Baylis M, Brown D.

This article comments on the origins and consequences of recent Zika virus outbreaks, highlighting the urgent need to address several key gaps in knowledge regarding this virus.

Published in: Lancet Infect Dis. 2016;16(4):402-404.

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Brazil’s scientists scramble to solve the Zika puzzle

by Bispo A

In this interview, Anna Bispo describes the history of Zika virus in Brazil, including its potential links to an increase in microcephaly cases, and describes groundbreaking work in Zika virus diagnostics and virology at the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Published in: Bull World Health Organ. Vol 94. Switzerland2016:165-166

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