Journal of Microbiology

, Volume 55, Issue 2, pp 81–89 | Cite as

Dengue and Zika viruses: lessons learned from the similarities between these Aedes mosquito-vectored arboviruses

  • San Suwanmanee
  • Natthanej Luplertlop


The currently spreading arbovirus epidemic is having a severe impact on human health worldwide. The two most common flaviviruses, dengue virus (DENV) and Zika virus (ZIKV), are transmitted through the same viral vector, Aedes spp. mosquitoes. Since the discovery of DENV in 1943, this virus has been reported to cause around 390 million human infections per year, approximately 500,000 of which require hospitalization and over 20,000 of which are lethal. The present DENV epidemic is primarily concentrated in Southeast Asia. ZIKV, which was discovered in 1952, is another important arthropod-borne flavivirus. The neurotropic role of ZIKV has been reported in infected newborns with microcephaly and in adults with Guillain-Barre syndrome. Despite DENV and ZIKV sharing the same viral vector, their complex pathogenic natures are poorly understood, and the infections they cause do not have specific treatments or effective vaccines. Therefore, this review will describe what is currently known about the clinical characteristics, pathogenesis mechanisms, and transmission of these two viruses. Better understanding of the interrelationships between DENV and ZIKV will provide a useful perspective for developing an effective strategy for controlling both viruses in the future.


Dengue virus Zika virus Aedes mosquito arboviruses flavivirus microcephaly 


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Copyright information

© The Microbiological Society of Korea and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Faculty of Tropical MedicineMahidol UniversityBangkokThailand

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