Biotech Updates

Complete Zika Virus Genome Sequence Isolated from Semen

October 19, 2016

Researchers from the United Kingdom have successfully sequenced the Zika virus (ZIKV) genome isolated from the semen of a man who was diagnosed with ZIKV infection after a trip to the Caribbean.

Transmission of ZIKV to humans typically occurs through the bite of infected mosquitoes. However, 11 countries have reported cases of non-mosquito-borne transmission. In the paper published in Genome Announcements, the researchers wrote, "Sequence data for the virus isolated from a clinical semen sample align well with other sequences of ZIKV from the outbreak, including those from the Caribbean region, where the patient acquired the infection. The characterization of ZIKV isolated from semen samples will help improve our understanding of possible viral polymorphisms resulting from infection in different cellular environments."

When the researchers analyzed the new genome sequence data, they found that the ZIKV from the semen sample resembled previously described Caribbean Zika viruses. The researchers suggest that additional ZIKV sequencing from semen samples will help in understanding adaptation to different types of tissues, and provide clues about sexual transmission of the virus.

For more, read the paper in Genome Announcements.