Modes of Transmission of Zika Virus

J Infect Dis. 2017 Dec 16;216(suppl_10):S875-S883. doi: 10.1093/infdis/jix396.


For >60 years, Zika virus (ZIKV) has been recognized as an arthropod-borne virus with Aedes species mosquitoes as the primary vector. However in the past 10 years, multiple alternative routes of ZIKV transmission have been identified. We review the available data on vector and non-vector-borne modes of transmission and interventions undertaken, to date, to reduce the risk of human infection through these routes. Although much has been learned during the outbreak in the Americas on the underlying mechanisms and pathogenesis of non-vector-borne ZIKV infections, significant gaps remain in our understanding of the relative incidence of, and risk from, these modes compared to mosquito transmission. Additional research is urgently needed on the risk, pathogenesis, and effectiveness of measures to mitigate non-vector-borne ZIKV transmission.

Keywords: Aedes mosquitoes; Zika virus; pathogenesis; transmission modes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aedes / virology*
  • Americas
  • Animals
  • Disease Outbreaks*
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Mosquito Vectors / virology*
  • Risk
  • Zika Virus / pathogenicity
  • Zika Virus / physiology*
  • Zika Virus Infection / epidemiology
  • Zika Virus Infection / transmission*
  • Zika Virus Infection / virology