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Zika Virus: Microbilology and Parasitology

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Zika virus belongs to the genus Flavivirus, a mosquito borne virus that is close related to arthropod borne viruses (arboviruses) such as dengue virus and West Nile virus. It was originated in Unganda through monkeys in 1997 and later discovered that it can affect human in 1952 (Retrieved from World Health Organization) It is primarily transmitted by Aedes mosquito that bite during the day where it is active Zika name comes from the Zika forest of Uganda where it was discovered. 

In unusual condition it may be spread through sexual intercourse from a man to a woman who carried a baby that may affect pregnancy and cause birth defects such as microcephalyl (Retrieved from cedars. edu). Zika is seldom deadly and people who are infected with disease rarely get sick.Considering confirmed cases the fatality rate of the virus as stated by CDC is 8.3% but as the side effects it can be more devastating particularly with an inborned child. This mosquito belongs to Flaviviradae family, genus Flavivirus by Aedes species. (Ae. aegypti and Ae. albopictus) ( Retrieved from Center for Disease Control and Prevention)

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Aedes Aegypti lifecycle begins when female and male paired to produce eggs and take blood meal to support the egg since human blood contain certain proteins that is needed for the mosquito.When enough blood are feed the female mosquito find suitable water pool or dark places that contain water where she can lay the eggs and approximately 100 eggs at a time produces. The eggs will hatch and turn into larva for about 2 to 4 days. After 4 days it develops into a pupa which is like a caterpillar cocoon. 

A pupa turns into adult mosquito and flies off. The entire life cycle can be completed in 8 days but may take up to 3 weeks.Moreover, when an infected Aedes mosquito bite an individual it will get through the blood with an incubation time of a few days to weeks.Symptoms of the disease will occur in the infectious period that lasts up to 7 days. On the other hand, Zika virus may spread from person to person which affect the female person if she carries a baby.

Zika virus replicates into the midgut epthelial cells of the mosquito following into it’s salivary gland cells. Study shows that wiyhin 5-10 days the virus can be found in the mosquito’s saliva. When the mosquito’ s saliva penetrates or make a hole into the human skin the virus will infect epidermal keratinocytes, skin fibroblasts in the skin and into the Langerhans cells. Pathogenesis of this virus is being postulated and continue to spread into Lymph nodes going into the bloodstream. Flaviviruses replicates into the cytoplasm but mostly of the Zika antigens can be found in infected cell nuclei.

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