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The Horizon 2020 call by the European Commission’s Directorate-General Research and Innovation has funded the ZIKAlliance project to better characterise the clinical and fundamental aspects of infections by Zika virus (ZIKV), an emerging pathogen currently spreading in the Americas. ZIKV infection is generally mild, but the virus can also be responsible for severe neurological disorders and congenital microcephaly.

A study performed by the Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale (INSERM) team of Dr Ali Amara (U944, Paris, France) and published in Cell Reports sheds new light on the mechanisms allowing ZIKV to infect cells within the human nervous system. Amara et al. showed that the protein Axl is expressed in a number of brain glial cells and that the entry of ZIKV into these cells requires another protein, Gas6, to act as a bridge between the ZIKV particles and the glial cells.

Read more (International Severe Acute Respiratory and Emerging Infection Consortium (ISARIC) website)

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