Copyright ©The Author(s) 2017. Published by Baishideng Publishing Group Inc. All rights reserved.
World J Virol. Feb 12, 2017; 6(1): 1-8
Published online Feb 12, 2017. doi: 10.5501/wjv.v6.i1.1
Biological and historical overview of Zika virus
Najealicka Armstrong, Wangheng Hou, Qiyi Tang
Najealicka Armstrong, Wangheng Hou, Qiyi Tang, Deparment of Microbiology, Howard University, College of Medicine, Washington, DC 20059, United States
Author contributions: Armstrong N and Hou W searched most of the references and participated in drafting the manuscript; Armstrong N organized the tables; Tang Q designed the study and drafted the manuscript; all authors read and approved the final manuscript.
Supported by a Charles and Mary Latham Fund (Q.T.), No. NIH/NIAID SC1AI112785 (Q.T.); and National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities of the National Institutes of Health, No. G12MD007597.
Conflict-of-interest statement: The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
Open-Access: This article is an open-access article which was selected by an in-house editor and fully peer-reviewed by external reviewers. It is distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See:
Correspondence to: Qiyi Tang, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Microbiology, Howard University, College of Medicine, Seeley Mudd Building, Room 315, 520 W Street, NW, Washington, DC 20059, United States.
Telephone: +1-202-8063915 Fax: +1-202-2388518
Received: May 10, 2016
Peer-review started: May 12, 2016
First decision: June 14, 2016
Revised: June 20, 2016
Accepted: August 11, 2016
Article in press: August 15, 2016
Published online: February 12, 2017

The recent outbreak of the Zika virus attracts worldwide attention probably because the most recently affected country (Brazil) will host the 2016 Olympic Game. Zika virus infected cases are now spreading to many other countries and its infection might be linked to some severe medical sequelae. Since its first isolation from the infected monkey in 1947 in Uganda, only a few studies had been taken until recent outbreak. According to the history of referenced publications, there is a 19-year gap from 1989 to 2007. This might be because only mild diseases were diagnosed from Zika virus infected populations. Obviously, the recent reports that Zika virus infection is probably associated with microcephaly of the neonates makes us reevaluate the medical significance of the viral pathogen. It can be transmitted sexually or by mosquito biting. Sexual transmission of the Zika virus distinguishes it from other members of the Genus Flavivirus. Detailed information of the Zika virus is needed through a thorough investigation covering basic, epidemical, subclinical and clinical studies. Here, we reviewed the published information of Zika virus.

Keywords: Zika virus, Flavivirus, Congenital infection, Outbreak, Microcephaly

Core tip: Zika virus is gaining new ground with the recent outbreaks that are starting to expand worldwide. While normally transmitted by the mosquito, other routes of transmission are being discovered. Also, other medical complications are being detected with Zika virus infections. These recent findings require the scientific community to thoroughly examine Zika virus to better understand it so that better diagnostic options, treatment, and preventative measures can be developed. In order to beat Zika virus, we must understand its history and outbreak patterns as well as gain a full understanding of all clinical manifestations associated with this virus.