Entries by melina

Genome sequencing reveals Zika virus diversity and spread in the Americas

Despite great attention given to the recent Zika virus (ZIKV) epidemic in the Americas, much remains unknown about its epidemiology and evolution, in part due to a lack of genomic data. We applied multiple sequencing approaches to generate 100 ZIKV genomes from clinical and mosquito samples from 10 countries and territories, greatly expanding the observed […]

Potential use of saliva samples to diagnose Zika virus infection

Serological diagnosis of ZIKV in countries where dengue virus (DENV) is endemic is challenging, because antibodies elicited by a prior DENV infection may cross-react against ZIKV. Therefore, molecular techniques, such as conventional or real-time reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR/qRT-PCR), remain the reference methods for the diagnosis of ZIKV. However, the sensitivity of ZIKV RT-PCR […]

Mathematical model for Zika virus dynamics with sexual transmission route

Zika virus is a flavivirus transmitted to humans primarily through the bite of infected Aedes mosquitoes. In addition to vector-borne spread, however, the virus can also be transmitted through sexual contact. In this paper, we formulate and analyze a new system of ordinary differential equations which incorporates both vector and sexual transmission routes. Theoretical analysis […]

Vulnerability of primitive human placental trophoblast to Zika virus

Infection of pregnant women by Asian lineage strains of Zika virus (ZIKV) has been linked to brain abnormalities in their infants, yet it is uncertain when during pregnancy the human conceptus is most vulnerable to the virus. We have examined two models to study susceptibility of human placental trophoblast to ZIKV: cytotrophoblast and syncytiotrophoblast derived […]

Characterization of cytopathic factors through genome-wide analysis of the Zika viral proteins in fission yeast

The Zika virus (ZIKV) causes various neurologic defects including microcephaly and the Guillain-Barré syndrome. However, little is known about how ZIKV causes those diseases or which viral protein(s) is responsible for the observed cytopathic effects involved in restricted neuronal cellular growth, dysregulation of the cell cycle, and induction of cell hypertrophy or cell death. A […]

Researchers identify key proteins that may make Zika so deadly

Until it burst onto the scene earlier this year, Zika was an obscure, little-known virus. As a result, scientists know little about how it works. Over the past year, they have learned that it can cause a range of dangerous health problems, including birth defects such as microcephaly and neurological problems such as Guillain-Barré syndrome. […]

Structure of the immature Zika virus at 9 Å resolution

The current Zika virus (ZIKV) epidemic is characterized by severe pathogenicity in both children and adults. Sequence changes in ZIKV since its first isolation are apparent when pre-epidemic strains are compared with those causing the current epidemic. However, the residues that are responsible for ZIKV pathogenicity are largely unknown. Here we report the cryo-electron microscopy […]