Detailed look at Zika-infected cells virus reveals potentially targetable virus behaviour
Zika virus hit the headlines in 2015 as an epidemic spread across the Americas. Like many flaviviruses, the family to which Zika belongs, it spread via mosquitoes. However, Zika was unique in its ability to also pass from person to person, either via sex or from a pregnant mother to her foetus. This has spurred researchers to take a closer look at how this virus replicates in its mammalian hosts. With scanning electron microscopy they peered right inside a Zika-infected mammalian cell (pictured – the nucleus is the round structure on the right), which highlighted tubular structures that contained viral particles and revealed how the virus assembles using the cell’s organelles and membranes. Together, this helps build a clearer picture of the step-by-step process of Zika replication.
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