Zika Virus: A Brief History and Review of Its Pathogenesis Rediscovered

Joel N. Maslow, Christine C. Roberts

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


From its discovery in Uganda in 1947, Zika virus (ZIKV) was considered a relatively innocuous viral pathogen with sporadic and infrequent occurrence of human infection. It was during an outbreak in French Polynesia in 2014 when cases of Guillain-Barré syndrome were identified as a serious complication of ZIKV infection in adults. However, in 2015, ZIKV emerged into and swept through South and Central America infecting millions of people. As part of the latter ZIKV outbreak, in Brazil, cases of microcephaly and other serious congenital complications affecting a large fraction of infants born to mothers infected during pregnancy were first identified and linked to ZIKV. This chapter reviews the history and clinical manifestations of ZIKV infection and mechanisms of immunoprotection. It is notable that, while limited, historical monographs identified most, if not all, of the precepts that are considered as newly discovered.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMethods in Molecular Biology
PublisherHumana Press
Number of pages8
StatePublished - 2020

Publication series

NameMethods in Molecular Biology
ISSN (Print)1064-3745
ISSN (Electronic)1940-6029


  • Flavivirus
  • Guillain-Barré syndrome
  • Microcephaly
  • Neurotropism
  • Pathogenesis
  • Viral transmission
  • Zika virus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics


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