Zika virus is an emerging mosquito-borne flavivirus that recently caused a large epidemic in Latin America characterized by novel disease phenotypes, including Guillain-Barré syndrome, sexual transmission, and congenital anomalies, such as microcephaly. This epidemic, which was declared an international public health emergency by the World Health Organization, has highlighted shortcomings in our current understanding of, and preparation for, emerging infectious diseases in general, as well as challenges that are specific to Zika virus infection. Vaccine development for Zika virus has been a high priority of the public health response, and several candidates have shown promise in pre-clinical and early phase clinical trials. The optimal selection and implementation of imperfect serologic assays are among the crucial issues that must be addressed in order to advance Zika vaccine development. Here, I review key considerations for how best to incorporate into Zika vaccine trials the existing serologic tools, as well as those on the horizon. Beyond that, this discussion is relevant to other intervention strategies to combat Zika and likely other emerging infectious diseases.
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