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Open Access Tackling the dengue, Zika and Chikungunya viruses

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Arboviruses or Arthropod-borne viruses have emerged from their sylvatic cycles to disperse around the world, taking advantage of global warming and increased human mobility that contribute to the expansion of mosquito populations susceptible to be infected and transmit pathogens that cause disease to humans, such as dengue, zika and chikungunya viruses. Dengue virus (DENV) infects 400 million people a year. It is a leading cause of illness and death in the tropics and subtropics and its incidence is geographically expanding. Dengue and Dengue Haemorrhagic Fever are caused by any one of four DENV serotypes transmitted by mosquitoes. A major challenge in developing a DENV vaccine is to overcome virus variability because immune responses mounted to one serotype are not relevant to protect against the other 3 DENV serotypes. Zika virus (ZIKV) is an emerging Flavivirus transmitted by Aedes mosquitoes that is now rapidly spreading throughout South, Central and North America. ZIKV is a major concern worldwide due to its link to neurologic conditions, such as Guillain-Barré syndrome in French Polynesia, and a concurrent 20-fold increase in the incidence of microcephaly during the ZIKV outbreak in Brazil between 2014 and 2015.

Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) infections are characterised by severe joint pain and fever during the acute phase and long-lasting debilitating arthralgia during the chronic phase. Aedes mosquitoes, the vectors transmitting CHIKV have undergone a dramatic expansion, causing CHIKV to become a global threat leading to long-term economic impacts in endemic countries. No effective vaccine is widely available to prevent any of these three arboviral diseases, and the group under the direction of Prof. Arturo Reyes-Sandoval is currently leading a vaccine programme at the Jenner Institute to tackle these infectious diseases.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: October 15, 2018

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