The Zika virus, also known as ZIKV, is an arbovirus within the genus Flavivirus, a part of the Flaviviridae family. In 1947, the first isolated sample of ZIKV was taken from a nonhuman primate, and a sample was taken from mosquitoes in 19481. The ZIKV infections within humans have been irregular for the past century until finally emerging in the Pacific and, later, the Americas. A typical transmission includes being bitten by mosquitoes. This paper aims to look at the nature of genomic epidemiology of different Flaviviruses, especially in relation to the NS1 protein, in order to gain insight into the infectivity of ZIKV.
The symptoms and presentation of Zika fever are often imprecise and were frequently misdiagnosed as other viral infections or infectious diseases, commonly being mistaken for other illnesses caused by arboviruses such as dengue and chikungunya2. Prior to the 2013-2014 French Polynesian outbreak, which was severe, ZIKV infections were treated as a mild sickness3. During the epidemic, serious neurological impediments were reported, and the appearance of significant congenital malformations (microcephaly) within patients in Brazil began to be associated with ZIKV4.
The diagnosis conducted in laboratories requires the isolation of the virus or identification of ZIKV-specific RNA. Serological diagnosis is often made more problematic due to cross-reactivity among other viruses in the Flavivirus genus5. Because of the adaptation the ZIKV has undergone in an urban environment that involves humans as well as domestic mosquitoes, the incidence of ZIKV infections could be severely overlooked6. This suggests a serious risk for the ZIKV infections in metropolitan areas within tropical territories with adept varieties of mosquitoes such as the Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus.
Due to the rapidly increasing onsets of ZIKV cases, a stark necessity to develop vector control structures in order to combat arboviral transmission has become a highlight of much genetic research. A study provided a demonstration that a polycistronic cluster of engineered synthetic small RNAs that aimed at ZIKV was expressed and completely processed in Ae. aegypti7. This allowed the growth of mature synthetic small RNAs within the midgut of the Ae. aegypti, which is where ZIKV can be found in its earliest stages of infection8. Further into the study, it was revealed that the Ae. aegypti carrying the synthetic anti-ZIKV transgene caused a substantial decrease in viral infection, dissemination, and transmission levels of ZIKV infection9. The promising results offer a strategy to develop working genetic-based ZIVK preventative and control systems. Potentially, the extent of the study and implementation may be introduced to the combat against other arboviruses.
Ancestral African and contemporary Asian strains of ZIKV, though only the Asian lineage was responsible for the recent epidemics that were tied to neurological complications10. The vital investigation of the study required the researchers to identify the genetic differences between the two strains in order to understand the aggravated symptoms caused by the recent variety of ZIKV11. The focus was on the infectivity and pathogenicity of the two strains. The analysis assessed RNA secondary structures and intramolecular RNA-RNA interactions within mosquitoes. The results presented structural elements of RNA and intramolecular interactions within the strains from the Asian epidemics. Carriers that mutated disrupted the extended RNA interactions between the E protein-coding region and the 5’UTR in some cases12. This led to a reduction in infectivity.
The structure of ZIKV has recently been expanded with the observation of the non‐structural protein 1, also referred to as NS113. The NS1 protein is vital for RNA replication within flaviviruses and to evade immune systems of their hosts14. Recent studies have focused on discovering ways in which antibodies of the NS1 protein affect the effectiveness of a variety of flaviviruses. However, no such research was performed with the anti-ZIKV NS1 antibodies. The following study will investigate the effect of anti-ZIKV NS1 antibodies on the condition of ZIKV NS1 proteins. This paper will use previous research on NS1 protein interactions with other Flaviviruses, in order to better understand the infectivity of the ZIKV virus.
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