Understanding the pathogenesis of zika virus infection using animal models

Keeton K. Krause, Francine Azouz, Ok Sarah Shin, Mukesh Kumar

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Zika virus (ZIKV) is a member of Flaviviridae family that has emerged as a pathogen of significant public health importance. The rapid expansion of ZIKV in the South and Central America has recently gained medical attention emphasizing the capacity of ZIKV to spread to non-endemic regions. ZIKV infection during pregnancy has been demonstrated to cause microcephaly and other fetal developmental abnormalities. An increased incidence of Guillain-Barre syndrome, an immune mediated neuropathy of the peripheral nervous system, has also been reported in ZIKV-infected patients in French Polynesia and Brazil. No effective therapies currently exist for treating patients infected with ZIKV. Despite the relatively short time interval, an intensive effort by the global scientific community has resulted in development of animal models to study multiple aspects of ZIKV biology. Several animal models have been established to investigate pathogenesis of ZIKV in adults, pregnant mothers, and developing fetuses. Here we review the remarkable progress of newly developed small and large animal models for understanding ZIKV pathogenesis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)287-297
Number of pages11
JournalImmune Network
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Oct

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by a grant (P30GM114737) from the Centers of Biomedical Research Excellence, National Institute of General Medical Sciences, grant (R21NS099838) from National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, and grant (R21OD024896) from the Office of the Director, National Institutes of Health.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017. The Korean Association of Immunologists.


  • Animal model
  • Etiology
  • Zika virus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Infectious Diseases


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