Cellular, Molecular Mechanisms of Zika Revealed

Zika, Dengue

Zika remains a global health emergency, and of particularly urgent concern for pregnant women: infants born to women who contract Zika during pregnancy run a risk, as high as 42 percent, of developing birth defects. For others who are infected, the severity of the disease varies broadly. The biological reasons behind this variation in the clinical outcome and severity of Zika remain largely unknown.

A major scientific collaboration including the Yale School of Public Health has shed some light on the cellular and molecular mechanisms of Zika, and its connection to other vector-borne diseases. The study, published in Cell , reveals that a history of dengue, another mosquito-borne infection in the same genus as Zika, could alter a patient’s response and susceptibility to the similar Zika virus.