Special Issue "Virus-Host Interactions of Zika Virus"

A special issue of Pathogens (ISSN 2076-0817).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 June 2018).

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Carolina Arias
Website
Guest Editor
Department of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology, University of California, Santa Barbara, CA 93106, USA
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Diseases caused by viruses are some of the most important public health issues world-wide. Emerging and re-emerging viruses pose the constant threat of epidemics with the potential to cause suffering in those afflicted by them. The recent and devastating epidemic of Zika virus (ZIKV) in the Americas is a prominent example. The ZIKV epidemic showcased the rapid spread of viral infections across continents, affecting thousands of individuals. ZIKV, initially discovered in the Zika forest in Uganda in 1947, is a mosquito borne flavivirus and a re-emerging human pathogen. In immunocompetent adults, ZIKV causes subclinical manifestations with mild symptoms, and is often rapidly resolved. Infection during pregnancy, however, results in devastating effects in the fetus, specifically microcephaly, craniofacial malformations, joint and muscle defects, ocular abnormalities and fetal demise. The wide-range of the ZIKV mosquito vectors, Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus, coupled to globalization and climate change, has transformed ZIKV into a public health threat for large geographical areas in the Americas and Africa, and some regions in Europe, Asia and Australia. The fast and vast spread of the virus and severe effects of ZIKV infection in one of the most vulnerable populations, pregnant mothers and the unborn, makes vector control, disease characterization, and the development of vaccines and new therapies, pressing matters world-wide. To maximize our chances of success when combating ZIKV, we must first deeply understand the biology of the virus, revealing all possible strategies and molecular details. Investigating ZIKV-host interactions will undoubtedly help guiding our efforts in controlling this terrible disease. We have made considerable advances in the last two years, with the characterization of the ZIKV target cells in the mother and the fetus, the elucidation of host factors essential for infection by genome-wide CRISPR screens, the development of potential vaccines, and identification of potential treatments. Despite this progress, many aspects of the biology of ZIKV remain to be explored, and potential therapies are still underdeveloped. ZIKV biology offers unprecedented fertile ground for impactful research, for instance, on the effects of co-infection in disease, the safety of potential vaccines and therapies, the specificity of target cells and the strategies for viral entry, and the molecular mechanisms used by ZIKV to control the host. In this special issue, of “Virus-host interactions of Zika Virus” we invite submissions of primary research and review articles addressing all aspects of ZIKV infection. This will include molecular biology of host-cellvirus interactions, immunology of ZIKV infection, characterization of clinical manifestations, epidemiology, vector control, diagnosis, and vaccine and treatment development. We look forward to your submissions.

Dr. Carolina Arias
Guest Editor

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Keywords

  • Zika Virus
  • Vector control
  • Transmission
  • Epidemiology
  • Diagnosis
  • Clinical Manifestations
  • Immune Response
  • Virus-host interactions
  • Vaccine development
  • Therapies

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Preliminary Studies on Immune Response and Viral Pathogenesis of Zika Virus in Rhesus Macaques
Pathogens 2018, 7(3), 70; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens7030070 - 20 Aug 2018
Cited by 4
Abstract
Zika Virus (ZIKV) is primarily transmitted through mosquito bites. It can also be transmitted during sexual intercourse and in utero from mother to fetus. To gain preliminary insight into ZIKV pathology and immune responses on route of transmission, rhesus macaques (RMs) were inoculated [...] Read more.
Zika Virus (ZIKV) is primarily transmitted through mosquito bites. It can also be transmitted during sexual intercourse and in utero from mother to fetus. To gain preliminary insight into ZIKV pathology and immune responses on route of transmission, rhesus macaques (RMs) were inoculated with ZIKV (PRVABC59) via intravaginal (IVAG) (n = 3) or subcutaneous (sub Q) (n = 2) routes. Systemic ZIKV infection was observed in all RMs, regardless of the route of inoculation. After 9 days postinfection (dpi), ZIKV was not detected in the plasma of IVAG- and sub-Q-inoculated RMs. Importantly, RMs harbored ZIKV up to 60 dpi in various anatomical locations. Of note, ZIKV was also present in several regions of the brain, including the caudate nucleus, parietal lobe, cortex, and amygdala. These observations appear to indicate that ZIKV infection may be systemic and persistent regardless of route of inoculation. In addition, we observed changes in key immune cell populations in response to ZIKV infection. Importantly, IVAG ZIKV infection of RMs is associated with increased depletion of CD11C hi myeloid cells, reduced PD-1 expression in NK cells, and elevated frequencies of Ki67+ CD8+ central memory cells as compared to sub Q ZIKV-infected RMs. These results need to interpreted with caution due to the small number of animals utilized in this study. Future studies involving large groups of animals that have been inoculated through both routes of transmission are needed to confirm our findings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Virus-Host Interactions of Zika Virus)
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Open AccessArticle
Impact of Mosquito Age and Insecticide Exposure on Susceptibility of Aedes albopictus (Diptera: Culicidae) to Infection with Zika Virus
Pathogens 2018, 7(3), 67; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens7030067 - 12 Aug 2018
Cited by 4
Abstract
Zika virus (ZIKV) is primarily transmitted to humans by Aedes aegypti and Ae. albopictus. Vector–virus interactions influencing vector competence vary and depend on biological and environmental factors. A mosquito’s chronological age may impact its immune response against virus infection. Insecticides, source reduction, [...] Read more.
Zika virus (ZIKV) is primarily transmitted to humans by Aedes aegypti and Ae. albopictus. Vector–virus interactions influencing vector competence vary and depend on biological and environmental factors. A mosquito’s chronological age may impact its immune response against virus infection. Insecticides, source reduction, and/or public education are currently the best defense against mosquitoes that transmit ZIKV. This study assessed the effects of a mosquito’s chronological age at time of infection on its response to ZIKV infection. We exposed young (6–7 d post-emergence) and old (11–12 d post-emergence) Ae. albopictus to a sublethal dose of bifenthrin prior to oral exposure to blood meals containing ZIKV (7-day incubation period). Old mosquitoes experienced a significantly (p < 0.01) higher rate of mortality than young mosquitoes. Significantly higher ZIKV body titers (p < 0.01) were observed in the old control group compared to the young control group. Significantly higher (p < 0.01) ZIKV dissemination rates and leg titers (p < 0.01) were observed in old bifenthrin-exposed mosquitoes compared to old control mosquitoes or young bifenthrin-exposed or control mosquitoes. Hence, bifenthrin exposure may increase the potential for virus transmission; however, the degree of these impacts varies with mosquito age. Impacts of insecticides should be considered in risk assessments of potential vector populations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Virus-Host Interactions of Zika Virus)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
An Update on Sexual Transmission of Zika Virus
Pathogens 2018, 7(3), 66; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens7030066 - 03 Aug 2018
Cited by 13
Abstract
Zika virus (ZIKV) is a single-stranded RNA virus belonging to the arthropod-borne flaviviruses (arboviruses) which are mainly transmitted by blood-sucking mosquitoes of the genus Aedes. ZIKV infection has been known to be rather asymptomatic or presented as febrile self-limited disease; however, during the [...] Read more.
Zika virus (ZIKV) is a single-stranded RNA virus belonging to the arthropod-borne flaviviruses (arboviruses) which are mainly transmitted by blood-sucking mosquitoes of the genus Aedes. ZIKV infection has been known to be rather asymptomatic or presented as febrile self-limited disease; however, during the last decade the manifestation of ZIKV infection has been associated with a variety of neuroimmunological disorders including Guillain–Barré syndrome, microcephaly and other central nervous system abnormalities. More recently, there is accumulating evidence about sexual transmission of ZIKV, a trait that has never been observed in any other mosquito-borne flavivirus before. This article reviews the latest information regarding the latter and emerging role of ZIKV, focusing on the consequences of ZIKV infection on the male reproductive system and the epidemiology of human-to-human sexual transmission. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Virus-Host Interactions of Zika Virus)
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Open AccessReview
Zika Virus Trafficking and Interactions in the Human Male Reproductive Tract
Pathogens 2018, 7(2), 51; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens7020051 - 11 May 2018
Cited by 4
Abstract
Sexual transmission of Zika virus (ZIKV) is a matter of great concern. Infectious viral particles can be shed in semen for as long as six months after infection and can be transferred to male and female sexual partners during unprotected sexual intercourse. The [...] Read more.
Sexual transmission of Zika virus (ZIKV) is a matter of great concern. Infectious viral particles can be shed in semen for as long as six months after infection and can be transferred to male and female sexual partners during unprotected sexual intercourse. The virus can be found inside spermatozoa and could be directly transferred to the oocyte during fertilization. Sexual transmission of ZIKV can contribute to the rise in number of infected individuals in endemic areas as well as in countries where the mosquito vector does not thrive. There is also the possibility, as has been demonstrated in mouse models, that the vaginal deposition of ZIKV particles present in semen could lead to congenital syndrome. In this paper, we review the current literature to understand ZIKV trafficking from the bloodstream to the human male reproductive tract and viral interactions with host cells in interstitial spaces, tubule walls, annexed glands and semen. We hope to highlight gaps to be filled by future research and potential routes for vaccine and antiviral development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Virus-Host Interactions of Zika Virus)
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview
Molecular Responses to the Zika Virus in Mosquitoes
Pathogens 2018, 7(2), 49; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens7020049 - 03 May 2018
Cited by 4
Abstract
The Zika virus (ZIKV), originally discovered in 1947, did not become a major concern until the virus swept across the Pacific and into the Americas in the last decade, bringing with it news of neurological complications and birth defects in ZIKV affected areas. [...] Read more.
The Zika virus (ZIKV), originally discovered in 1947, did not become a major concern until the virus swept across the Pacific and into the Americas in the last decade, bringing with it news of neurological complications and birth defects in ZIKV affected areas. This prompted researchers to dissect the molecular interactions between ZIKV and the mosquito vector in an attempt to better understand not only the changes that occur upon infection, but to also identify molecules that may potentially enhance or suppress a mosquito’s ability to become infected and/or transmit the virus. Here, we review what is currently known regarding ZIKV-mosquito molecular interactions, focusing on ZIKV infection of Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus, the primary species implicated in transmitting ZIKV during the recent outbreaks. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Virus-Host Interactions of Zika Virus)
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