HKU Discovers Potential Treatments for Zika Virus Infection-Associated Complications

An abundant amount of Zika virus antigens was found in the testis of a mouse without interferon treatment. Photo from Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine, The University of Hong Kong.

Researchers from HKU established a new animal model for studying the pathogenesis, treatments and vaccines for Zika virus. The team led by Professor Yuen Kwok-yung, Dr Jasper Chan Fuk-woo and Dr Anna Zhang Jinxia found that immunosuppressed mice developed disseminated infection and inflammation in multiple organs, including the testis. The mice were effectively treated by recombinant type 1 interferons. The work has been published in EBioMedicine.

Zika Virus Infection in Dexamethasone-immunosuppressed Mice Demonstrating Disseminated Infection with Multi-organ Involvement Including Orchitis Effectively Treated by Recombinant Type I Interferons.  http://www.ebiomedicine.com/article/S2352-3964(16)30521-7/

Zika fever and congenital Zika syndrome: An unexpected emerging arboviral disease

zika map

Despite having been discovered in Uganda for almost 60 years, <20 human cases of Zika infection were reported before 2007. The massive epidemics in the Pacific islands associated with the ZIKV Asian lineage in 2007 and 2013 were followed by explosive outbreaks in Latin America in 2015.

Zika fever and congenital Zika syndrome: An unexpected emerging arboviral disease
Jasper F.W. Chan, Garnet K.Y. Choi, Cyril C.Y. Yip, Vincent C.C. Cheng, Kwok-Yung Yuen, Journal of Infection, May 2016