Zika virus: Transmission, detection, control, and prevention

Anshika Sharma, Sunil K. Lal

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

68 Citations (Scopus)


Zika virus (ZIKV) is a mosquito-borne Flavivirus discovered in Uganda in the 1940s. To date, three major ZIKV outbreaks have been reported. ZIKV infections have known to be primarily asymptomatic while causing mild illness in a few cases. However, the recent emergence and spread of ZIKV in the Americas has resulted in the declaration of "Public Health Emergency of International Concern" due to the potential association between the infection and prenatal microcephaly or other brain anomalies. In Brazil, a 20-fold increase in prenatal microcephaly cases and 19% increase in Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS) cases were reported in 2015, as compared to the preceding year. The probable deleterious effects of ZIKV infection prompt the urgent development of diagnostics and therapeutics. To this end, the existing evidences supporting the increasingly common prenatal microcephaly and GBS association and the current known ZIKV transmission dynamics, modes of detection (molecular and serology-based), and current control strategies are summarized in this review. This review also emphasizes the importance of understanding ZIKV transmission in order to design a sensitive yet cost and time-efficient detection technique. Development of an efficient detection technique would subsequently allow for better surveillance and control of ZIKV infection. Currently, limited literature is available on the pathogenesis of ZIKV, hence, focusing on the modes of ZIKV transmission could potentially contribute to the understanding of the disease spectrum and formulation of targeted treatment and control.

Original languageEnglish
Article number110
Number of pages14
JournalFrontiers in Microbiology
Issue numberFEB
Publication statusPublished - 3 Feb 2017


  • Arbovirus
  • Flavivirus infection
  • Guillain-Barré syndrome
  • Microcephaly
  • Sylvatic cycle
  • Zika diagnosis

Cite this