Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 3

Zika virus Related Abstracts

3 Preparedness and Control of Mosquito-Borne Diseases: Experiences from Northwestern Italy

Authors: Federica Verna, Alessandra Pautasso, Maria Caramelli, Cristiana Maurella, Walter Mignone, Cristina Casalone

Abstract:

Mosquito-Borne Diseases (MBDs) are dangerously increasing in prevalence, geographical distribution and severity, representing an emerging threat for both humans and animals. Interaction between multiple disciplines is needed for an effective early warning, surveillance and control of MBDs, according to the One Health concept. This work reports the integrated surveillance system enforced by IZSPLV in Piedmont, Liguria and Valle d’Aosta regions (Northwestern Italy) in order to control MDBs spread. Veterinary services and local human health authority are involved in an information network, to connect the surveillance of human clinical cases with entomological surveillance and veterinary monitoring in order to implement control measures in case of outbreak. A systematic entomological surveillance is carried out during the vector season using mosquitoes traps located in sites selected according to risk factors. Collected mosquitoes are counted, identified to species level by morphological standard classification keys and pooled by collection site, date and species with a maximum of 100 individuals. Pools are analyzed, after RNA extraction, by Real Time RT-PCR distinctive for West Nile Virus (WNV) Lineage 1 and Lineage 2, Real Time RT-PCR USUTU virus (USUV) and a traditional flavivirus End-point RT-PCR. Positive pools are sequenced and the related sequences employed to perform a basic local alignment search tool (BLAST) in the GenBank library. Positive samples are sent to the National Reference Centre for Animal Exotic Diseases (CESME, Teramo) for confirmation. With particular reference to WNV, after the confirmation, as provided by national legislation, control measures involving both local veterinary and human health services are activated: equine sera are randomly sampled within a 4 km radius from the positive collection sites and tested with ELISA kit and WNV NAT screening of blood donors is introduced. This surveillance network allowed to detect since 2011 USUV circulation in this area of Italy. WNV was detected in Piedmont and Liguria for the first time in 2014 in mosquitoes. During the 2015 vector season, we observed the expansion of its activity in Piedmont. The virus was detected in almost all Provinces both in mosquitoes (6 pools) and animals (19 equine sera, 4 birds). No blood bag tested resulted infected. The first neuroinvasive human case occurred too. Competent authorities should be aware of a potentially increased risk of MBDs activity during the 2016 vector season. This work shows that this surveillance network allowed to early detect the presence of MBDs in humans and animals, and provided useful information to public authorities, in order to apply control measures. Finally, an additional value of our diagnostic protocol is the ability to detect all viruses belonging to the Flaviviridae family, considering the emergence caused by other Flaviviruses in humans such as the recent Zika virus infection in South America. Italy has climatic and environmental features conducive to Zika virus transmission, the competent vector and many travellers from Brazil reported every year.

Keywords: west nile virus, integrated surveillance, mosquito borne disease, Zika virus

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2 Zika Virus NS5 Protein Potential Inhibitors: An Enhanced in silico Approach in Drug Discovery

Authors: Pritika Ramharack, Mahmoud E. S. Soliman

Abstract:

The re-emerging Zika virus is an arthropod-borne virus that has been described to have explosive potential as a worldwide pandemic. The initial transmission of the virus was through a mosquito vector, however, evolving modes of transmission has allowed the spread of the disease over continents. The virus already been linked to irreversible chronic central nervous system (CNS) conditions. The concerns of the scientific and clinical community are the consequences of Zika viral mutations, thus suggesting the urgent need for viral inhibitors. There have been large strides in vaccine development against the virus but there are still no FDA-approved drugs available. Rapid rational drug design and discovery research is fundamental in the production of potent inhibitors against the virus that will not just mask the virus, but destroy it completely. In silico drug design allows for this prompt screening of potential leads, thus decreasing the consumption of precious time and resources. This study demonstrates an optimized and proven screening technique in the discovery of two potential small molecule inhibitors of Zika virus Methyltransferase and RNA-dependent RNA polymerase. This in silico “per-residue energy decomposition pharmacophore” virtual screening approach will be critical in aiding scientists in the discovery of not only effective inhibitors of Zika viral targets, but also a wide range of anti-viral agents.

Keywords: virtual screening, Zika virus, NS5 protein inhibitors, per-residue decomposition, pharmacophore model

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1 Negative RT-PCR in a Newborn Infected with Zika Virus: A Case Report

Authors: Vallejo Michael, Acuña Edgar, Roa Juan David, Peñuela Rosa, Parra Alejandra, Casallas Daniela, Rodriguez Sheyla

Abstract:

Congenital Zika Virus Syndrome is an entity composed by a variety of birth defects presented in newborns that have been exposed to the Zika Virus during pregnancy. The syndrome characteristic features are severe microcephaly, cerebral tissue abnormalities, ophthalmological abnormalities such as uveitis and chorioretinitis, arthrogryposis, clubfoot deformity and muscular tone abnormalities. The confirmatory test is the Reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) associated to the physical findings. Here we present the case of a newborn with microcephaly whose mother presented a confirmed Zika Virus infection during the third trimester of pregnancy, despite of the evident findings and the history of Zika infection the RT-PCR in amniotic and cerebrospinal fluid of the newborn was negative. RT-PCR has demonstrated a low sensibility in samples with low viral loads, reason why, we propose a clinical diagnosis in patients with clinical history of Zika Virus infection during pregnancy accompanied by evident clinical manifestations of the child.

Keywords: Congenital, Zika virus, microcephaly, reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction

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