Abstract
ZIKA VIRUS: AN OVERVIEW OF CURRENT UNDERSTANDING

Abdullah Al Hasan*, Sayema Khanum and A.T.M. Zafrul Azam

ABSTRACT

Zika virus (ZIKV), a flavivirus closely related to dengue (DENV), West Nile (WNV), Japanese encephalitis (JEV) and yellow fever (YFV) viruses, has appeared since 2007 to cause a series of epidemics in many parts of the world including Micronesia, the South Pacific, and the Americas. After its assumed evolution in sub-Saharan Africa, Zika virus spread in the distant past to Asia and has probably appeared on multiple occasions into urban areas involving Aedes (Stegomyia) spp. mosquitoes and human hosts. There is a high potential for ZIKV emergence in urban areas in the tropics that are infested with competent mosquito vectors i.e. Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus. This review describes the current understanding of the epidemiology, transmission, clinical characteristics and diagnosis of Zika virus infection, potential strategies to control the ongoing outbreak through vector-centric approaches, the prospects for the development of vaccines and therapeutics as well as the future outlook with regard to this disease.

Keywords: Zika virus, Microcephaly, Flavivirus, Envelope protein, Pregnancy, Vaccine.


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