The flaviviruses dengue, West Nile, and Japanese encephalitis represent three major mosquito-borne viruses worldwide. These pathogens impact the lives of millions of individuals and potentially could affect non-endemic areas already colonized by mosquito vectors. Unintentional transport of infected vectors (Aedes and Culex spp.), traveling within endemic areas, rapid adaptation of the insects into new geographic locations, climate change, and lack of medical surveillance have greatly contributed to the increase in flaviviral infections worldwide. The mechanisms by which flaviviruses alter the immune and the central nervous system have only recently been examined despite the alarming number of infections, related deaths, and increasing global distribution. In this review, we will discuss the expansion of the geographic areas affected by flaviviruses, the potential threats to previously unaffected countries, the mechanisms of pathogenesis, and the potential therapeutic interventions to limit the devastating consequences of these viruses.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience