Sexual transmission of insect-borne virus

April 7, 2011 by Deborah Braconnier report
Maculopapular rash on patient 3 infected with Zika virus, Colorado, USA. Credit: see ref. below.

(PhysOrg.com) -- Little did Brian Foy know that when he came home from a scientific research trip and had sex with his wife that that sexual act would create virological history. A study just released in Emerging Infectious Diseases presents the case of probable sexual transmission of the Zika virus.

Brian Foy, a U.S. vector biologist from Colorado State University and a Ph.D. student Kevin Kobylinski had been in Senegal conducting research on . During the course of their research they were collecting in the village of Bandafassi. During their time there, they also endured many mosquito bites themselves.

They returned to the states on August 24, 2008 and within five days of their return became ill. They experienced symptoms of rash, , headaches, and swollen joints. Foy also experienced painful urination and blood in his semen.

On September 3, 2008, Joy Chilson Foy, Brian’s wife, also became sick and experienced many of the same symptoms however none of their four children were ill.

The scientists believed they had become infected by a mosquito bite they had received on the trip, but were stumped as to what Foy’s wife had. Blood samples were taken by several laboratories, including the CDC, but nothing showed conclusively.

A year later, Kobylinski met with medical entomologist Andrew Haddow while on another trip to Senegal. Kobylinski shared the story to Haddow, who immediately believed what he was describing was the Zika virus. Blood samples from the three were sent to virologist Robert Tesh and the confirmation was made.

The Zika belongs to the Flaviviridae virus family and is similar to dengue, yellow fever, and West Nile. It is transmitted by three Aedes mosquito species, all of which are common in Senegal, but not in Colorado where Foy’s wife was.

Though there is not confirmed evidence that sexual contact between Foy and his wife was the method of infection for his wife, there is no other explanation. This would be the first time a documented case of of an insect-borne pathogen has been documented.

More information: www.cdc.gov/eid/content/17/5/pdfs/10-1939.pdf
via Science

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15 comments

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kaasinees
3 / 5 (4) Apr 07, 2011
Maybe we should eliminate all mosquitos of the face of the earth?
mrlewish
4.7 / 5 (6) Apr 07, 2011
So her husband cheated on her with a mosquito?
Marquette
5 / 5 (5) Apr 07, 2011
"insect-BORNE pathogen"
Nikola
5 / 5 (3) Apr 07, 2011
"insect-BORNE pathogen"
LOL! Right on.
kaasinees
1 / 5 (2) Apr 07, 2011
It takes one mosquito to wipe out an entire mamal community...
Simonsez
4 / 5 (2) Apr 07, 2011
How have they concluded beyond a doubt that it was the sexual act and not, say, exchanging of fluids through kissing that transmitted the disease?
Andrew_Zacharuk
4.7 / 5 (3) Apr 07, 2011
How have they concluded beyond a doubt that it was the sexual act and not, say, exchanging of fluids through kissing that transmitted the disease?


It's possible (and the .pdf from the CDC mentions that) but as the article points out, none of the four children became ill.
dan42day
3.7 / 5 (3) Apr 07, 2011
Maybe we should eliminate all mosquitos of the face of the earth?


Right after we wrap up the war on drugs?

Actually, if we ever came close to wiping out mosquitoes, they would be protected by the Endangered Species Act.
Mercury_01
1 / 5 (5) Apr 07, 2011
Could be sympathetic illness. It happens between husbands and wives all the time. Psychosomatic in nature, and exacerbated to some level of symptomatic mimicry by unconscious mental and emotional processes. Then once the health problems manifest, theyre labeled and become reinforced by belief. Im not saying thats what happened here, but I believe its possible.
PPihkala
5 / 5 (5) Apr 08, 2011
Could be sympathetic illness.

"Blood samples from the three were sent to virologist Robert Tesh and the confirmation was made."

Sympathetic illness probably won't show up on wife's blood.
CarolinaScotsman
5 / 5 (1) Apr 08, 2011
Have they considered that a mosquito may have "hitch hiked" in Foy's luggage and subsequently bit his wife? Maybe not probable but how probable is the sexual transmission?
NameIsNotNick
not rated yet Apr 08, 2011
Could be sympathetic illness.

Did you read the article? The virus was confirmed.

P.S. OK I see someone else made the same observation... sorry for the bandwidth. Nice to know some enjoy posting so much they skip right over the article directly to the comments ;-)
Mercury_01
not rated yet Apr 08, 2011
I must have missed that part of the article.

Nice to know though that some enjoy gloating so much that they make sweeping accusations, patronizing remarks about bandwidth, and actually take the time to type their contrived emotions ;-) lol :) lmaolol derp.

If you saw that someone had already politely corrected me, maybe you should have just gone forward with your day. You've got some growing up to do.
tkjtkj
not rated yet Apr 09, 2011
How have they concluded beyond a doubt that it was the sexual act and not, say, exchanging of fluids through kissing that transmitted the disease?


do you know for sure that vector biologists kiss??

Also, 'Vector Creates Vector Which Becomes Vector' could have been an alternate heading , no?
neiorah
not rated yet Apr 10, 2011
Saliva can breakdown substances where as inside the reproductive tract cannot. I can see the parasite being transmitted through sexual contact since there was blood in the semen and all the parasites would have to do is burrow through the walls of any of her sexual organs and gain access to her circulatory system.

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