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By Gary Evans, AHC Media Senior Staff Writer
Hoping to find points of attack for vaccines and therapies, researchers have constructed a genetic clone of the Zika virus, which is causing an epidemic of mosquito-borne disease in the Americas.
The recently published study concludes that the Zika clone provides a platform to research virus transmission, disease pathogenesis, and to develop countermeasures, note the authors, a team of researchers at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. The clone Zika virus they created is infectious, can be transmitted by the primary vector -- Aedes aegypti mosquitoes -- and caused illness and death in research mice.
The explosion of Zika virus in the Americas has raised questions about viral mutation and a host of other issues. In addition to vaccine development and treatment, the clonal research model could shed light on several theories about Zika. The researchers, specifically address the following five hypotheses and possible research approaches with mice in this excerpt from the paper:
For much more information on Zika, be sure to check out the June issue of Hospital Employee Health, which is dedicated exclusively to the virus outbreak. For the latest from AHC Media on Zika, be sure to visit reliasmedia.com/Zika.