Zika in the Americas, year 2: What have we learned? What gaps remain? A report from the Global Virus Network

Matthew T. Aliota, Leda Bassit, Shelton S. Bradrick, Bryan Cox, Mariano A. Garcia-Blanco, Christina Gavegnano, Thomas C. Friedrich, Thaddeus G. Golos, Diane E. Griffin, Andrew D. Haddow, Esper G. Kallas, Uriel Kitron, Marc Lecuit, Diogo M. Magnani, Caroline Marrs, Natalia Mercer, Edward McSweegan, Lisa F.P. Ng, David H. O'Connor, Jorge E. OsorioGuilherme S. Ribeiro, Michael Ricciardi, Shannan L. Rossi, George Saade, Raymond F. Schinazi, Geraldine O. Schott-Lerner, Chao Shan, Pei Yong Shi, David I. Watkins, Nikos Vasilakis, Scott C. Weaver

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

94 Scopus citations


In response to the outbreak of Zika virus (ZIKV) infection in the Western Hemisphere and the recognition of a causal association with fetal malformations, the Global Virus Network (GVN) assembled an international taskforce of virologists to promote basic research, recommend public health measures and encourage the rapid development of vaccines, antiviral therapies and new diagnostic tests. In this article, taskforce members and other experts review what has been learned about ZIKV-induced disease in humans, its modes of transmission and the cause and nature of associated congenital manifestations. After describing the make-up of the taskforce, we summarize the emergence of ZIKV in the Americas, Africa and Asia, its spread by mosquitoes, and current control measures. We then review the spectrum of primary ZIKV-induced disease in adults and children, sites of persistent infection and sexual transmission, then examine what has been learned about maternal-fetal transmission and the congenital Zika syndrome, including knowledge obtained from studies in laboratory animals. Subsequent sections focus on vaccine development, antiviral therapeutics and new diagnostic tests. After reviewing current understanding of the mechanisms of emergence of Zika virus, we consider the likely future of the pandemic.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)223-246
Number of pages24
JournalAntiviral research
StatePublished - Aug 2017


  • Antiviral therapy
  • Arbovirus
  • Congenital manifestations
  • Maternal-fetal transmission
  • Vaccines
  • Zika virus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Virology


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