Epidemiology and neurological complications of infection by the Zika virus: a new emerging neurotropic virus.Rev Neurol. 2016 Apr 01; 62(7):317-28.RN
The current epidemic outbreak due to Zika virus began in 2015 and since then it has been reported in 31 countries and territories in America. The epidemiological and clinical aspects related to infection by Zika virus are reviewed.
Since 2007, 55 countries in America, Asia, Africa and Oceania have detected local transmission of the virus. This epidemic has affected almost 1.5 million people in Brazil. 80% of the cases are asymptomatic. The symptoms of Zika virus disease include fever, maculopapular rash, arthralgia and non-purulent conjunctivitis. The symptoms are usually self-limiting and last one week. An increase in the incidence of cases of microcephaly, retinal lesions and Guillain-Barre syndrome associated with the Zika virus has been reported. Zika-associated Guillain-Barre syndrome in Polynesia is a pure motor axonal variant. The RNA of the Zika virus has been identified in samples of brain tissue, placenta and amniotic liquid of children with microcephaly and in the still-born infants of women infected by Zika during pregnancy. The reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction test is recommended to detect viral RNA, and serological tests (IgM ELISA and neutralising antibodies) should be conducted to confirm infection by Zika. The differential diagnosis includes infection by the dengue and chikungunya viruses.
Knowledge about the pathogenic mechanisms involved in infection due to Zika virus and its long-term consequences in adults and newborn infants is still limited.