Can North American animals such as rabbits, cows, or pigs serve as hosts for Zika virus?

February 21, 2017, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc
Vector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases is an authoritative peer-reviewed journal published monthly online with open access options and in print dedicated to diseases transmitted to humans by insects or animals. Credit: Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers

The mosquito-borne Zika virus might be able to infect and reproduce in a variety of common animal species, and a new study looked at 16 different types of animals, including goats, pigeons, raccoons, and ducks, to determine their potential to serve as hosts for Zika virus. Understanding possible transmission routes and the role that animal infections could play in the transmission and spread of Zika virus is crucial for effective surveillance and prevention efforts, as described in an article published in Vector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases.

In the article entitled "Investigating the Potential Role of North American Animals as Hosts for Zika Virus," coauthors Izabela Ragan, Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine (Manhattan, KS), and Emily Blizzard, Paul Gordy, and Richard Bowen, Colorado State University (Fort Collins, CO) report on their experimental infection of animals common in North America. The researchers tested the animals' blood for the presence of infectious and antibodies to Zika virus.

"This paper answers a very important question regarding the potential role of non-primate vertebrates in the transmission cycle of Zika virus," says Stephen Higgs, PhD, Editor-in-Chief of Vector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases, and Director, Biosecurity Research Institute, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS. "It is vitally important to understand the potential for the virus to be transmitted outside of a human-mosquito cycle. The possibility that domesticated or wild animals living in close proximity to humans might serve as an unseen reservoir for Zika virus would have a great impact on our ability to control Zika virus in an urban environment."

Explore further: Zika virus research aims to control, fight mosquitoes

More information: Izabela K. Ragan et al, Investigating the Potential Role of North American Animals as Hosts for Zika Virus, Vector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases (2017). DOI: 10.1089/vbz.2016.2099

Related Stories

Zika virus research aims to control, fight mosquitoes

July 1, 2016
Kansas State University is helping the fight against Zika virus through mosquito research.

Culex mosquitoes do not transmit Zika virus, study finds

September 22, 2016
A Biosecurity Research Institute study has found important results in the fight against Zika virus: Culex mosquitoes do not appear to transmit Zika virus.

Does recent isolation of Zika virus from Culex mosquitoes point to a new transmission source?

September 7, 2016
Researchers have identified Zika virus in mosquito species other than Aedes aegypti, which is largely responsible for the current outbreaks of Zika infection, raising concerns that different mosquito vectors may be capable ...

Argentina: 1st local transmission of Zika, likely by sex

February 26, 2016
Argentine authorities say they've detected the country's first case of local infection with the Zika virus and say it's apparently due to sexual transmission.

Zika virus: Five things to know

February 8, 2016
A concise "Five things to know about.... Zika virus infection" article for physicians highlights key points about this newly emerged virus in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal)

Research provides clues to how Zika virus breaches the placental barrier

September 15, 2016
New research reveals that in pregnant women, Zika virus infection damages certain cells that affect placental formation and function. Furthermore, herpes simplex virus-2 (HSV-2) infection augments placental sensitivity to ...

Recommended for you

Hidden blood in feces may signal deadly conditions

July 17, 2018
(HealthDay)—Even if it's not visible to the naked eye, blood in the stool can be serious—a sign of a potentially fatal disease other than colon cancer, new research suggests.

Scientists a step closer to predicting epidemics

July 13, 2018
Ecologists at the University of Georgia have taken an important step in their efforts to develop an early warning system for infectious disease outbreaks.

Researchers identify target for novel malaria vaccine

July 13, 2018
A Yale-led team of researchers have created a vaccine that protects against malaria infection in mouse models, paving the way for the development of a human vaccine that works by targeting the specific protein that parasites ...

Higher income and being married protect older people from broken bones

July 13, 2018
Research led by scientists from the Medical Research Council Lifecourse Epidemiology Unit (MRC LEU) at the University of Southampton has shown that a higher income and being married reduces the risk of experiencing a broken ...

Gammaherpesviruses linked to tumors in macaques with simian immunodeficiency virus

July 12, 2018
Viruses known as gammaherpesviruses may raise the risk of cancer in macaques infected with Simian Immunodeficiency Virus or Simian Human Immunodeficiency Virus (SIV/SHIV), according to new research published by Vickie Marshall ...

Scientists find protein exploited by virus ravaging West Africa

July 12, 2018
A research team from several institutions being led by the University of California San Diego has deciphered a key component behind a rising epidemic of pathogens that the World Health Organization (WHO) recently added to ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.