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Special Issue "New Advances on Zika Virus Research"

A special issue of Viruses (ISSN 1999-4915). This special issue belongs to the section "Animal Viruses".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 September 2018

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Dr. Luis Martinez-Sobrido

Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Rochester Medical Center, 601 Elmwood Avenue, Box 672, Rochester, NY 14642, USA
Website | E-Mail
Phone: 585-276-4733
Fax: +1 585 473 9573
Interests: virology; vaccines; antivirals; influenza viruses; arenaviruses; Zika virus; innate immunity; adaptive immunity; virus–host interaction
Guest Editor
Dr. Fernando Almazan Toral

Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, National Center for Biotechnology, Darwin 3, 28049 Madrid, Spain
Website | E-Mail
Phone: 0034 915854561
Interests: virology; virus–host interaction; vaccines; antivirals; coronavirus; flavivirus; Zika virus

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Zika virus (ZIKV) is a mosquito-borne member of the Flaviviridae family that has been known to cause sporadic outbreaks in Africa and Southeast Asia. Recently, ZIKV has been associated with Guillain-Barre syndrome and microcephaly in the infants of infected mothers, a condition where infants are born with abnormally-small heads. The explosion of recent pandemics of ZIKV throughout South and Central America, the South Pacific and the Caribbean, and the potential threat to the United States, represent the most recent unexpected arrival of an arthropod-borne viral disease in the Western Hemisphere over the past 20 years. To date, there are no Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-licensed prophylactics (vaccines) or therapeutics (antivirals) available for the treatment of ZIKV disease in humans, which has the potential to affect millions of people worldwide. The significance of ZIKV in human health, together with the limited existing armamentarium to combat ZIKV infection, highlight the importance of developing effective countermeasures to prevent or treat ZIKV infection in humans. In this Special Issue, we will focus on the most recent discoveries in ZIKV research, including the molecular biology of the virus, virus–host interactions, antivirals, and vaccine development.

Dr. Luis Martinez-Sobrido
Dr. Fernando Almazan Toral
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Viruses is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • flavivirus
  • Zika virus (ZIKV)
  • Guillain-Barre syndrome
  • microcephaly
  • ZIKV vaccines
  • ZIKV antivirals
  • molecular biology ZIKV
  • reverse genetics ZIKV
  • ZIKV-host interactions

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Detection of Specific ZIKV IgM in Travelers Using a Multiplexed Flavivirus Microsphere Immunoassay
Viruses 2018, 10(5), 253; https://doi.org/10.3390/v10050253
Received: 28 March 2018 / Revised: 30 April 2018 / Accepted: 10 May 2018 / Published: 12 May 2018
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Abstract
Zika virus (ZIKV) has spread widely in the Pacific and recently throughout the Americas. Unless detected by RT-PCR, confirming an acute ZIKV infection can be challenging. We developed and validated a multiplexed flavivirus immunoglobulin M (IgM) microsphere immunoassay (flaviMIA) which can differentiate ZIKV-specific
[...] Read more.
Zika virus (ZIKV) has spread widely in the Pacific and recently throughout the Americas. Unless detected by RT-PCR, confirming an acute ZIKV infection can be challenging. We developed and validated a multiplexed flavivirus immunoglobulin M (IgM) microsphere immunoassay (flaviMIA) which can differentiate ZIKV-specific IgM from that due to other flavivirus infections in humans. The flaviMIA bound 12 inactivated flavivirus antigens, including those from ZIKV and yellow fever virus (YFV), to distinct anti-flavivirus antibody coupled beads. These beads were used to interrogate sera from patients with suspected ZIKV infection following travel to relevant countries. FlaviMIA results were validated by comparison to the ZIKV plaque reduction neutralization test (PRNT). The results highlight the complexity of serological ZIKV diagnosis, particularly in patients previously exposed to or vaccinated against other flaviviruses. We confirmed 99 patients with ZIKV infection by a combination of RT-PCR and serology. Importantly, ZIKV antibodies could be discriminated from those ascribed to other flavivirus infections. Serological results were sometimes confounded by the presence of pre-existing antibodies attributed to previous flavivirus infection or vaccination. Where RT-PCR results were negative, testing of appropriately timed paired sera was necessary to demonstrate seroconversion or differentiation of recent from past infection with or exposure to ZIKV. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Advances on Zika Virus Research)
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Open AccessArticle Comparative Pathogenesis of Asian and African-Lineage Zika Virus in Indian Rhesus Macaque’s and Development of a Non-Human Primate Model Suitable for the Evaluation of New Drugs and Vaccines
Viruses 2018, 10(5), 229; https://doi.org/10.3390/v10050229
Received: 6 April 2018 / Revised: 24 April 2018 / Accepted: 27 April 2018 / Published: 1 May 2018
PDF Full-text (2251 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
The establishment of a well characterized non-human primate model of Zika virus (ZIKV) infection is critical for the development of medical interventions. In this study, challenging Indian rhesus macaques (IRMs) with ZIKV strains of the Asian lineage resulted in dose-dependent peak viral loads
[...] Read more.
The establishment of a well characterized non-human primate model of Zika virus (ZIKV) infection is critical for the development of medical interventions. In this study, challenging Indian rhesus macaques (IRMs) with ZIKV strains of the Asian lineage resulted in dose-dependent peak viral loads between days 2 and 5 post infection and a robust immune response which protected the animals from homologous and heterologous re-challenge. In contrast, viremia in IRMs challenged with an African lineage strain was below the assay’s lower limit of quantitation, and the immune response was insufficient to protect from re-challenge. These results corroborate previous observations but are contrary to reports using other African strains, obviating the need for additional studies to elucidate the variables contributing to the disparities. Nonetheless, the utility of an Asian lineage ZIKV IRM model for countermeasure development was verified by vaccinating animals with a formalin inactivated reference vaccine and demonstrating sterilizing immunity against a subsequent subcutaneous challenge. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Advances on Zika Virus Research)
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Open AccessArticle Inhibition of Zika Virus Replication by Silvestrol
Viruses 2018, 10(4), 149; https://doi.org/10.3390/v10040149
Received: 31 January 2018 / Revised: 22 March 2018 / Accepted: 24 March 2018 / Published: 27 March 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (10575 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
The Zika virus (ZIKV) outbreak in 2016 in South America with specific pathogenic outcomes highlighted the need for new antiviral substances with broad-spectrum activities to react quickly to unexpected outbreaks of emerging viral pathogens. Very recently, the natural compound silvestrol isolated from the
[...] Read more.
The Zika virus (ZIKV) outbreak in 2016 in South America with specific pathogenic outcomes highlighted the need for new antiviral substances with broad-spectrum activities to react quickly to unexpected outbreaks of emerging viral pathogens. Very recently, the natural compound silvestrol isolated from the plant Aglaia foveolata was found to have very potent antiviral effects against the (−)-strand RNA-virus Ebola virus as well as against Corona- and Picornaviruses with a (+)-strand RNA-genome. This antiviral activity is based on the impaired translation of viral RNA by the inhibition of the DEAD-box RNA helicase eukaryotic initiation factor-4A (eIF4A) which is required to unwind structured 5´-untranslated regions (5′-UTRs) of several proto-oncogenes and thereby facilitate their translation. Zika virus is a flavivirus with a positive-stranded RNA-genome harboring a 5′-capped UTR with distinct secondary structure elements. Therefore, we investigated the effects of silvestrol on ZIKV replication in A549 cells and primary human hepatocytes. Two different ZIKV strains were used. In both infected A549 cells and primary human hepatocytes, silvestrol has the potential to exert a significant inhibition of ZIKV replication for both analyzed strains, even though the ancestor strain from Uganda is less sensitive to silvestrol. Our data might contribute to identify host factors involved in the control of ZIKV infection and help to develop antiviral concepts that can be used to treat a variety of viral infections without the risk of resistances because a host protein is targeted. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Advances on Zika Virus Research)
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Review

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Open AccessReview Probing Molecular Insights into Zika Virus–Host Interactions
Viruses 2018, 10(5), 233; https://doi.org/10.3390/v10050233
Received: 5 April 2018 / Revised: 26 April 2018 / Accepted: 28 April 2018 / Published: 2 May 2018
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Abstract
The recent Zika virus (ZIKV) outbreak in the Americas surprised all of us because of its rapid spread and association with neurologic disorders including fetal microcephaly, brain and ocular anomalies, and Guillain–Barré syndrome. In response to this global health crisis, unprecedented and world-wide
[...] Read more.
The recent Zika virus (ZIKV) outbreak in the Americas surprised all of us because of its rapid spread and association with neurologic disorders including fetal microcephaly, brain and ocular anomalies, and Guillain–Barré syndrome. In response to this global health crisis, unprecedented and world-wide efforts are taking place to study the ZIKV-related human diseases. Much has been learned about this virus in the areas of epidemiology, genetic diversity, protein structures, and clinical manifestations, such as consequences of ZIKV infection on fetal brain development. However, progress on understanding the molecular mechanism underlying ZIKV-associated neurologic disorders remains elusive. To date, we still lack a good understanding of; (1) what virologic factors are involved in the ZIKV-associated human diseases; (2) which ZIKV protein(s) contributes to the enhanced viral pathogenicity; and (3) how do the newly adapted and pandemic ZIKV strains alter their interactions with the host cells leading to neurologic defects? The goal of this review is to explore the molecular insights into the ZIKV–host interactions with an emphasis on host cell receptor usage for viral entry, cell innate immunity to ZIKV, and the ability of ZIKV to subvert antiviral responses and to cause cytopathic effects. We hope this literature review will inspire additional molecular studies focusing on ZIKV–host Interactions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Advances on Zika Virus Research)
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Open AccessReview Zika Virus in the Male Reproductive Tract
Viruses 2018, 10(4), 198; https://doi.org/10.3390/v10040198
Received: 19 March 2018 / Revised: 11 April 2018 / Accepted: 13 April 2018 / Published: 16 April 2018
PDF Full-text (2331 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Arthropod-borne viruses (arboviruses) are resurging across the globe. Zika virus (ZIKV) has caused significant concern in recent years because it can lead to congenital malformations in babies and Guillain-Barré syndrome in adults. Unlike other arboviruses, ZIKV can be sexually transmitted and may persist
[...] Read more.
Arthropod-borne viruses (arboviruses) are resurging across the globe. Zika virus (ZIKV) has caused significant concern in recent years because it can lead to congenital malformations in babies and Guillain-Barré syndrome in adults. Unlike other arboviruses, ZIKV can be sexually transmitted and may persist in the male reproductive tract. There is limited information regarding the impact of ZIKV on male reproductive health and fertility. Understanding the mechanisms that underlie persistent ZIKV infections in men is critical to developing effective vaccines and therapies. Mouse and macaque models have begun to unravel the pathogenesis of ZIKV infection in the male reproductive tract, with the testes and prostate gland implicated as potential reservoirs for persistent ZIKV infection. Here, we summarize current knowledge regarding the pathogenesis of ZIKV in the male reproductive tract, the development of animal models to study ZIKV infection at this site, and prospects for vaccines and therapeutics against persistent ZIKV infection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Advances on Zika Virus Research)
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