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J Clin Virol. 2016 Nov;84:53-58. doi: 10.1016/j.jcv.2016.09.012. Epub 2016 Oct 3.

An updated review of Zika virus.

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Faculty of Medicine, Ain Shams University, Cairo, Egypt; NovaMed Medical Research Association, Cairo, Egypt. Electronic address:
Medical Research Group of Egypt, Cairo, Egypt; Faculty of Medicine, Zagazig University, Zagazig, El-Sharkia, Egypt; Student Research Unit, Zagazig University, Zagazig, El-Sharkia, Egypt.


The current outbreak of Zika virus (ZIKV) in South America is one of the most serious public health emergencies since the Ebola outbreak of West Africa [2014]. ZIKV belongs to the flaviviridae family and has two lineages (Asian and African). The virus was first discovered in Uganda [1947] and the first human infection was identified in Nigeria [1952]. The current epidemic is the third of its type after that of Yap Island, Micronesia [2007] and French Polynesia [2013]. Phylogenetic studies revealed that the current strain shares about 99.7% of nucleotides and 99.9% of amino acids with the strain of French Polynesia epidemic [2013], suggesting that it has spread across the Pacific Ocean to invade South America. Aedes Aegypti mosquito is the main vector for ZIKV and there are some reports describing possible sexual and maternal to fetal transmission. ZIKV infection is known to be self-limited. However, recent reports suggested that it can be associated with neurological manifestations as Guillan-Barrè Syndrome and microcephaly in the newborn population. Currently, vector control seems to be the most effective available preventive measure against ZIKV spread. The development of broad spectrum antivirals and ZIKV vaccines should be a priority of future research.


Epidemic; Microcephaly; Public health; Zika virus

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