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Zika Virus Emergence and Expansion: Lessons Learned from Dengue and Chikungunya May Not Provide All the Answers

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  • 1 Department of Pathobiological Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
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Following the emergence of Zika in the past decade, there are lessons to be learned from similar emergence events of dengue (DENV) and chikungunya (CHIKV). Specifically, as Zika emerges in the Americas there is a natural tendency to apply the knowledge base of DENV and CHIKV to mitigation and control of a virus with such a similar transmission system. However, there are marked differences that may preclude such broad stroke application of this knowledge base without making potentially faulty assumptions. Herein, Zika virus (ZIKV) transmission is reviewed, and the commonalities among these three arboviruses are discussed. Importantly, the divergence of this particular arbovirus is discussed, as is the need to develop ZIKV-specific knowledge base for mitigation of this disease. Specifically reviewed are 1) emergence and persistence patterns, 2) genetic and phenotypic diversity, 3) vector host range, and finally, 4) alternate transmission routes and added complexity of ZIKV transmission and presentation.

Author Notes

* Address correspondence to Rebecca C. Christofferson, Department of Pathobiological Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, Skip Bertman Drive, Baton Rouge, LA 70803. E-mail: rcarri1@lsu.edu

Author's address: Rebecca C. Christofferson, Department of Pathobiological Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA, E-mail: rcarri1@lsu.edu.

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