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Review
. 2018 May;38(3):438-454.
doi: 10.1080/07388551.2017.1368445. Epub 2017 Sep 7.

Ghost Probiotics With a Combined Regimen: A Novel Therapeutic Approach Against the Zika Virus, an Emerging World Threat

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Review

Ghost Probiotics With a Combined Regimen: A Novel Therapeutic Approach Against the Zika Virus, an Emerging World Threat

Vivek K Bajpai et al. Crit Rev Biotechnol. .

Abstract

The Zika virus (ZIKV) used to be an obscure flavivirus closely related to dengue virus (DENV). Transmission of this epidemic pathogen occurs mainly via mosquitoes, but it is also capable of placental and sexual transmission. Although the characteristics of these viruses are well defined, infections are unpredictable in terms of disease severity, unusual clinical manifestations, unexpected methods of transmission, long-term persistence, and the development of new strains. Recently, ZIKV has gained huge medical attention following the large-scale epidemics around the world, and reported cases of congenital abnormalities associated with Zika virus infections which have created a public health emergency of international concern. Despite continuous research on ZIKV, no specific treatment or vaccine has been developed, excepting a preventive strategy for congenital ZIKV infection. Probiotics, known as GRAS, are bacteria that confer various health beneficial effects, and have been shown to be effective at curing a number of viral diseases by modulating the immune system. Furthermore, probiotic preparations consisting of dead cells and cellular metabolites, so-called "Ghost probiotics", can also act as biological response modifiers. Here, we review available information on the epidemiology, transmission, and clinical features of ZIKV, and on treatment and prevention strategies. In addition, we emphasize the use of probiotics and plant-based natural remedies and describe their action mechanisms, and the green technologies for microbial conversion, which could contribute to the development of novel therapies that may reduce the pathogenicity of ZIKV. Accordingly, we draw attention to new findings, unanswered questions, unresolved issues, and controversies regarding ZIKV.

Keywords: Zika virus; phytoconstituents; plants; probiotic peptides; probiotics; viral infection.

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