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Vol 10, No 3 (2017)
REVIEWS
Published online: 2017-10-25
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Zika Virus – a new blood borne infectious agent

Piotr Marek Radziwon
Journal of Transfusion Medicine 2017;10(3):84-89.

open access

Vol 10, No 3 (2017)
REVIEWS
Published online: 2017-10-25

Abstract

Zika virus is an arbowirus from Flavivirus genus. It has broad cellular tropism infecting
a wide range of foetal cells as well as adult cells particularly of the male sexual system. It is
transmitted by vector — Aedes mosquitos, by infected blood and tissues and also by sexual

contact. Testicular immune privilege may explain the persistence of the virus in these tissues,
potentially acting as an active reservoir of the virus. In the recent years mosquito-borne Zika
virus transmission has been confirmed in 70 countries of South and Central America, Middle
Africa, South Asia, and South Pacific Region. The incubation period lasts from several days
to one week. In 80% of cases the Zika virus infection is asymptomatic. Symptomatic cases
resemble influenza accompanied by skin rush and itching skin on the entire body.
Zika virus infection may cause microcephaly and/or damage to the foetus central nervous
system. In adults the Guillain-Barre syndrome may occur. Several acute co-infections with
dengue virus and/or chikungunya have been reported. It is therefore recommended to perform
appropriate multiplexed arboviral testing.
In order to confirm Zika virus infection molecular methods (RT-PCR) for viral RNA detection
should be used. In some cases serological assays may not be useful. Several known drugs/compounds
(eg. chloroquine, azithromycin, sofosbuvir) have been shown effective in the treatment
of Zika virus infection. In Poland now there is a 28 day deferral for donors returning from
areas where virus transmission has been confirmed or reporting sexual contacts with persons
diagnosed with Zika virus infection or travelling to Zika virus affected regions. Such safety
measures do not apply to donors of plasma dedicated solely for fractionation.

Abstract

Zika virus is an arbowirus from Flavivirus genus. It has broad cellular tropism infecting
a wide range of foetal cells as well as adult cells particularly of the male sexual system. It is
transmitted by vector — Aedes mosquitos, by infected blood and tissues and also by sexual

contact. Testicular immune privilege may explain the persistence of the virus in these tissues,
potentially acting as an active reservoir of the virus. In the recent years mosquito-borne Zika
virus transmission has been confirmed in 70 countries of South and Central America, Middle
Africa, South Asia, and South Pacific Region. The incubation period lasts from several days
to one week. In 80% of cases the Zika virus infection is asymptomatic. Symptomatic cases
resemble influenza accompanied by skin rush and itching skin on the entire body.
Zika virus infection may cause microcephaly and/or damage to the foetus central nervous
system. In adults the Guillain-Barre syndrome may occur. Several acute co-infections with
dengue virus and/or chikungunya have been reported. It is therefore recommended to perform
appropriate multiplexed arboviral testing.
In order to confirm Zika virus infection molecular methods (RT-PCR) for viral RNA detection
should be used. In some cases serological assays may not be useful. Several known drugs/compounds
(eg. chloroquine, azithromycin, sofosbuvir) have been shown effective in the treatment
of Zika virus infection. In Poland now there is a 28 day deferral for donors returning from
areas where virus transmission has been confirmed or reporting sexual contacts with persons
diagnosed with Zika virus infection or travelling to Zika virus affected regions. Such safety
measures do not apply to donors of plasma dedicated solely for fractionation.

Get Citation

Keywords

Zika virus; flavivirus; microcephaly; Guillain-Barre syndrome

About this article
Title

Zika Virus – a new blood borne infectious agent

Journal

Journal of Transfusion Medicine

Issue

Vol 10, No 3 (2017)

Pages

84-89

Published online

2017-10-25

Bibliographic record

Journal of Transfusion Medicine 2017;10(3):84-89.

Keywords

Zika virus
flavivirus
microcephaly
Guillain-Barre syndrome

Authors

Piotr Marek Radziwon

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