Over 600 researchers and experts are gathering at the Institut Pasteur in Paris for the International Zika Summit 2016 (25-26 April). The speed of the Zika virus propagation requires open collaborations between researchers, the public health community and the public. This meeting aims at providing a venue for open such discussions. The meeting is sponsored by the Institut Pasteur, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Wellcome Trust, with organizational support from WHO, REACTing, Aviesan, the European Commission, USCDC and ISARIC.
Press conference, International Zika Summit 2016 © Institut Pasteur Zika virus is now present in over 34 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean affecting over 1.5 million people. On Zika virus potential to enter Europe, researchers at the Institut Pasteur's Arboviruses and Insect Vectors Unit led by Anna-Bella Failloux worked with Portuguese researchers (Instituto de Higiene e Medicina Tropical, Universidade Nova de Lisboa) to assess the vector competence, or virus transmission potential, of four mosquito populations: two populations of Aedes aegypti from Madeira and two populations of Aedes albopictus from southern France. The scientists infected female mosquitoes with Zika virus belonging to the Asian genotype equivalent to that currently circulating in Brazil. The results show that Ae. aegypti transmits the virus more effectively than Ae. albopictus. In Ae. aegypti, the virus only takes 9 days to complete a full cycle and infect the insect's salivary glands, ready to be inoculated into a new host through a bite. In contrast, Ae. albopictus completes the same cycle in 14 days which significantly limits transmission. It therefore appears that tiger mosquitoes in southern France and probably continental Europe are less capable of transmitting Zika virus locally which seems to support a hypothetical scenario whereby transmission is limited to regions in which Ae. aegypti is present. Read the full news on the Institut Pasteur website: here. You can read the preprint study on bioRxiv:
Zika virus, a new threat for Europe? Henri JUPILLE, Goncalo SEIXAS, Laurence MOUSSON, Carla SOUSA, Anna-Bella FAILLOUX doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1101/048454