Yale researchers make strides in solving Zika puzzle

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First discovered in 1947, the Zika virus initially led to outbreaks in humans living in tropical Africa, Southeast Asia, and the Pacific Islands. Today, cases of Zika virus disease have been confirmed in several countries, including the United States, according to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention.

Yale researchers from a wide range of disciplines — public health, immunobiology, infectious disease, neuroscience, and ecology and evolutionary biology — have contributed seminal work that advances understanding of how the virus spreads and impacts human health. Their efforts provide insights for further research and potential new strategies to combat the disease.


Aug. 25, 2016

Zika virus may persist in the vagina days after infection

The Zika virus reproduces in the vaginal tissue of pregnant mice several days after infection, according to a study by Yale researchers. From the genitals, the virus spreads and infects the fetal brain, impairing fetal development.

Aug. 24, 2016

Yale team discovers how Zika virus causes fetal brain damage

Infection by the Zika virus diverts a key protein necessary for neural cell division in the developing human fetus, thereby causing the birth defect microcephaly, a team of Yale scientists reported Aug. 24 in the journal Cell Reports.

Aug. 18, 2016

Yale study identifies how Zika virus infects the placenta

In a new study, Yale researchers demonstrate Zika virus infection of cells derived from human placentas. The research provides insight into how Zika virus may be transmitted from expectant mother to fetus, resulting in infection of the fetal brain.

July 25, 2016

Low Zika risk for travelers to Olympics in Brazil, study finds

The Zika virus poses a negligible health threat to the international community during the Olympic Games held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, according to researchers at Yale School of Public Health.

Feb. 25, 2016

Zika virus linked to stillbirth, other symptoms in Brazil

In January, a pregnant Brazilian woman infected with the Zika virus had a stillborn baby who had signs of severe tissue swelling as well as central nervous system defects that caused near-complete loss of brain tissue.


July 7, 2016

When it comes to Zika, ‘we don’t know a lot’

For almost 60 years the Zika virus languished as little more than a medical curiosity. Then, just about two years ago, it began to wreak havoc across the Americas. Since then researchers have tried to learn what they can about the virus.

May 3, 2016

Zika’s threat to U.S. public health needs strong federal response, experts agree

Yale School of Public Health Professor Albert Ko on Monday joined the state’s two U.S. senators and others as they called on Congress to approve $1.9 billion in federal funding to fight the Zika epidemic as it spreads in the United States.

Feb. 26, 2016

YSPH scientist named to global Zika task force

Yale School of Public Health Professor Albert Ko has been named to an international panel that will address the emerging threat posed by the Zika virus. The Zika Task Force, launched by the Global Virus Network, is composed of 23 experts in every class of virus-causing disease in humans.

Feb. 4, 2016

Aggressive and human-loving, Aedes Aegypti mosquito spreading Zika and other diseases

Jeffrey Powell is a professor of ecology and evolutionary biology. He has conducted mosquito-related research around the world, including in Brazil where the Zika virus has spread rapidly.

Feb. 3, 2016

Researcher’s fascination with mosquito genetics may help address Zika crisis

Professor Jeffrey Powell began working on the mosquito that transmits the Zika virus when he was an undergraduate student 49 years ago. He has a life-long fascination with Aedes aegypti, which he refers to as “a truly elegant creature.” 

Jan. 25, 2016

The rise of Zika — another mosquito virus in the Americas

Zika is rapidly becoming a public health crisis. In Brazil, it is suspected in a sharp increase in microcephaly, leading to anxiety amongst expecting mothers and a travel advisory from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Media Contact

Ziba Kashef: ziba.kashef@yale.edu, 203-436-9317