June 21, 2018
Over the last five years, Zika virus has emerged as a significant global human health threat following outbreaks in South and Central America. Now, researchers reporting in PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseaseshave shown that invasive mosquitoes in California — where cases of Zika in travelers have been a regular occurrence in recent years — are capable of transmitting Zika.
Zika virus (ZIKV) is a mosquito-transmitted flavivirus that has been known for more than a half century, but recently gained attention after it began spreading through South America and was confirmed as a cause of Guillain-Barre syndrome and congenital Zika syndrome in infants. Several species of Aedes mosquitoes have been confirmed as vectors of ZIKV in the lab. But studies have also suggested that mosquitoes of the same species from different regions may have different competencies as vectors.