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News Article

Zika circulates among wild animals in the Americas


A study of primates in Brazil has important implications for Zika eradication efforts

Researchers from the USA and Brazil have found that wild monkeys in the Americas are transmitting the Zika virus to humans via mosquitoes, making complete eradication of the virus very unlikely. Their findings are published in Scientific Reports.

"Our findings are important because they change our understanding of the ecology and transmission of Zika virus in the Americas," said senior author Nikos Vasilakis from the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB). "The possibility of a natural transmission cycle involving local mosquitoes and wild local primates as a reservoir and amplification host will definitely impact our predictions of new outbreaks in the Americas, because we cannot eradicate this natural transmission cycle."

In two Brazilian cities, the research team identified wild non-human primate carcasses (marmosets and capuchins) that tested positive for the American Zika virus lineage. In order to learn more about Zika infection in these animals, the researchers infected four primates with the American lineage Zika virus in a laboratory. The monkeys maintained their viral levels over time, suggesting that non-human primates may be a vertebrate host in the maintenance of Zika virus transmission and circulation in urban tropical communities.

"This is a game changer for people involved with disease control - including vaccine developers, public health officials and policy makers," said senior author Mauricio Lacerda Nogueira from the São José do Rio Preto School of Medicine (FAMERP).

Read article: Evidence of natural Zika virus infection in neotropical non-human primates in Brazil by Ana Carolina B. Terzian, Nathalia Zini, Lívia Sacchetto, Rebeca Froes Rocha, Maisa Carla Pereira Parra, Juliana Lemos Del Sarto, Ana Carolina Fialho Dias, Felipe Coutinho, Jéssica Rayra, Rafael Alves da Silva, Vivian Vasconcelos Costa, Natália Coelho Couto De Azevedo Fernandes, Rodrigo Réssio, Josué Díaz-Delgado, Juliana Guerra, Mariana S. Cunha, José Luiz Catão-Dias, Cintia Bittar, Andréia Francesli Negri Reis, Izalco Nuremberg Penha dos Santos, Andréia Cristina Marascalchi Ferreira, Lilian Elisa Arão Antônio Cruz, Paula Rahal, Leila Ullmann, Camila Malossi, João Pessoa de Araújo Jr, Steven Widen, Izabela Maurício de Rezende, Érica Mello, Carolina Colombelli Pacca, Erna Geessien Kroon, Giliane Trindade, Betânia Drumond, Francisco Chiaravalloti-Neto, Nikos Vasilakis, Mauro M. Teixeira and Maurício Lacerda Nogueira, published in Scientific Reports (2018) volume 8, article number: 16034, doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-34423-6

Article details

  • Date
  • 06 November 2018
  • Source
  • University of Texas Medical Branch
  • Subject(s)
  • Zoo-, Wild-, Laboratory-, and Other Animals