Zika Virus

Pathogens. 2020 Oct 28;9(11):898. doi: 10.3390/pathogens9110898.


Zika virus (ZIKV), a neurotropic single-stranded RNA flavivirus, remains an important cause of congenital infection, fetal microcephaly, and Guillain-Barré syndrome in populations where ZIKV has adapted to a nexus involving the Aedes mosquitoes and humans. To date, outbreaks of ZIKV have occurred in Africa, Southeast Asia, the Pacific islands, the Americas, and the Caribbean. Emerging evidence, however, suggests that the virus also has the potential to cause infections in Europe, where autochtonous transmission of the virus has been identified. This review focuses on evolving ZIKV epidemiology, modes of transmission and host-virus interactions. The clinical manifestations, diagnostic issues relating to cross-reactivity to the dengue flavivirus and concerns surrounding ZIKV infection in pregnancy are discussed. In the last section, current challenges in treatment and prevention are outlined.

Keywords: Guillain-Barré syndrome; Zika; Zika virus; congenital Zika syndrome; emerging infectious diseases; materno-fetal infections.

Publication types

  • Review