Medical Countermeasure Development Challenges
Malone, Robert W.
Callahan, Michael V.
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Reports of high rates of primary microcephaly and Guillain–Barré syndrome associated with Zika virus infection in French Polynesia and Brazil have raised concerns that the virus circulating in these regions is a rapidly developing neuropathic, teratogenic, emerging infectious public health threat. There are no licensed medical countermeasures (vaccines, therapies or preventive drugs) available for Zika virus infection and disease. The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) predicts that Zika virus will continue to spread and eventually reach all countries and territories in the Americas with endemic Aedes mosquitoes. This paper reviews the status of the Zika virus outbreak, including medical countermeasure options, with a focus on how the epidemiology, insect vectors, neuropathology, virology and immunology inform options and strategies available for medical countermeasure development and deployment.