Zika virus (ZIKV) is an emerging disease that is spread by Aedes mosquitoes. The virus was first isolated in Central Africa, and has since been spread to South Asia and recently to South America. Outbreaks were reported in Micronesia in 2007 and in Brazil in 2015, confirming at least 13 autochthonous infections. The ZIKV outbreak in Brazil in 2016 has gained world-wide attention, and has been linked to an increasing number of microcephaly cases. In April 2016, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in the USA, confirmed the link between ZIKV infection of the fetus with microcephaly.
ZIKV can cause mild fever, rash, myalgia, arthralgia and headaches, with one in four infected individuals being asymptomatic. Due to similar symptoms ZIKV infected individuals can easily be misdiagnosed as a dengue infection and vice-versa. In addition, ZIKV has been implicated in causing microcephaly through transmission in utero. There is no vaccine or specific treatment available for ZIKV.
Analysis of ZIKV sequences from infected patients have shown that the strain circulating in South America in 2015 differs to the strain originally isolated in 1947 in Uganda (the “Uganda” strain). The South American strain was first isolated and sequenced from a patient in Suriname, and hence is known as the Zika Suriname strain.
The Native Antigen Company supply a range of products to support researchers working with ZIKV proteins including NS1 proteins; Envelope protein and Zika virus VLP:-
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. CDC Concludes Zika Causes Microcephaly and Other Birth Defects
- Enfissi A. et al (2016). Zika virus genome from the Americas. Lancet 387(10015):227-8
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