Developing animal models of Zika virus infection for novel drug discovery.

Expert Opin Drug Discov 2019 Jun 16;14(6):577-589. Epub 2019 Apr 16.

a Department of Microbiology, Institute of Biomedical Sciences , University of São Paulo , São Paulo , Brazil.

Introduction: Just before the Brazilian outbreak, Zika virus was related to a mild infection, causing fever and skin rash. Congenital Zika Syndrome was first described in Brazil, causing microcephaly and malformations in newborns. Three years after the outbreak, the mechanisms of Zika pathogenesis are still not completely elucidated. Moreover, as of today, there is still no approved vaccine that can be administered to the susceptible population. Considering the unmet clinical need, animal models represent an unprecedented opportunity to study Zika pathophysiology and test drugs for the treatment and prevention of vertical transmission. Areas covered: The authors explore the current knowledge about Zika through animal models and advancements in drug discovery by highlighting drugs with the greatest potential to treat ZIKV infection and block vertical transmission. Expert opinion: Some drugs used to treat other infections have been repurposed to treat Zika infection, reducing the cost and time for clinical application. One promising example is Sofosbuvir, which protected mice models against Zika pathogenesis by preventing vertical transmission. Importantly, there is a lack on exploration on the long-term effects of Zika Congenital Syndrome, as well as the possible ways to treat its sequelae.

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https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/17460441.2019.1
Publisher Site
http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17460441.2019.1597050DOI Listing
June 2019
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