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Zika Mutation Enhances Dengue Transmission

December 5, 2022 • 9:45 am CST
by Ernesto Velázquez
(Zika News)

Zika virus (ZIKV) and dengue virus (DENV) are arthropod-borne pathogenic flaviviruses that co-circulate in many countries.

While two dengue vaccines are available as of December 5, 2022, the U.S. FDA has not approved any Zika vaccine candidate.

To understand some of the pressures that influence ZIKV evolution, researchers recently mimicked the natural transmission cycle by repeating serial passaging of ZIKV through cultured mosquito cells and either DENV-naive or DENV-immune mice.

Compared with wild-type ZIKV, the strains passaged under both conditions exhibit increased pathogenesis in DENV-immune mice.

This study's data indicate that ZIKV strains with enhanced transmissibility and pathogenicity can emerge in DENV-naive or -immune settings and that NS2B-I39 mutants may represent ZIKV variants of interest.

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