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Monkeys infected by mosquito bites further Zika virus research

Written by: Chris Barncard

A vacuum tube holds a blood-fed strain of Aedes aegypti mosquito in place under a microscope in a research lab insectary in the Hanson Biomedical Sciences Building at the University of Wisconsin-Madison on May 17, 2016. (Photo by Jeff Miller/UW-Madison)

Monkeys who catch Zika virus through bites from infected mosquitoes develop infections that look like human Zika cases, and may help researchers understand the many ways Zika can be transmitted.

Researchers at the University of Wisconsin–Madison infected rhesus macaques at the Wisconsin National Primate Research Center with Zika virus one of two ways: by allowing mosquitoes carrying the virus to feed on the monkeys or by injecting virus under the skin, the common method for infecting animals in laboratory studies.

The differences between the resulting infections — reported today (Dec. 13, 2017) in the journal Nature Communications — were subtle, but will be useful as scientists continue to learn more about Zika after a high-profile epidemic in the Americas caused grave birth defects. Read more.

Published by University of Wisconsin-Madison December 13, 2017

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