When the Zika epidemic burned through the Americas in 2015, it was transmitted in the same areas where the dengue virus was already endemic. This was not unexpected, as both viruses are genetically and antigenically similar, and they also share the same mosquito vectors, Aedes aegypti, and Aedes albopictus.
But what was surprising was how quickly the dengue virus faded into the background in the immediate years following the Zika outbreak. New findings from researchers at the University of Florida’s Emerging Pathogens Institute and UF’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Department of Biology, describes how dengue was likely suppressed to abnormally low levels in Latin America in the years following the Zika epidemic. Their work explains a possible mechanism for how dengue then came roaring back in 2019.
The study, which published in Nature Communications, was conducted by multiple members of the Infectious Disease Dynamics lab which is led by the study’s senior author, Derek Cummings, who is a UF biology professor.Learn more about Zika Epidemic Likely Suppressed Dengue in Latin America.