Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

An international research collaboration studying the genetics of Zika virus in Brazil and beyond has provided a new understanding of the disease and its rapid spread through space and time.

Left: Zibra Natal-Ingra Morales (University of Sao Paulo) and Josh Quick (University of Birmingham) use Oxford Nanopore MinION device. Right: Jaqueline Goes de Jesus (Fundacao Oswaldo Cruz – Salvador) and Nuno Faria (University of Oxford) use the Oxford Nanopore MinION device in Joao Pessoa, Brazil. Image credit: Ricardo Funari

Newly published in Nature, the research was led by the Universities of Birmingham and Oxford in partnership with FioCruz Bahia, the University of São Paulo, and supported by the Brazilian Ministry of Health. The findings have  significant public health implications and the potential to improve responses to future outbreaks.

By carrying out genome sequencing to understand the virus’ genetic make-up, the team was able to track the spread of the virus across Brazil. The study showed that Zika’s establishment within Brazil - and its spread from there to other regions - occurred before Zika transmission in the Americas was first discovered. By revealing this ‘hidden’ epidemic, the results will help scientists to better understand the link between the Zika epidemic and reports of birth defects and other diseases.

Read more

Similar stories

Singula Bio, a new Oxford spin-out company - Cancer need not be fatal

General Innovation Research

Singula Bio, a bold new seed-stage biotechnology company spun out of Oxford University, has been launched with the intention of helping show that cancer need not be fatal. Led by three Oxford cancer specialists, the firm is aims to become a world leader in therapies to use against difficult-to-treat solid malignancies such as ovarian cancer - using the body’s own immune system to fight previously fatal cancers.

Major rise in public support for COVID vaccine – Oxford study

Coronavirus COVID-19 General Research

More than three quarters of people in the UK now say they are ’very likely’ to have the vaccine – up from 50% among the same group of survey respondents five months ago –according to a two-wave Oxford University survey published today.

Coronavirus vaccination linked to substantial reduction in hospitalisation, real-world data suggests

Coronavirus COVID-19 General Research

The first study to describe the effects in real-world communities of the Oxford coronavirus vaccine has been reported in a pre-print publication today, showing a clear reduction in the risk of hospitalisation from COVID-19 amongst those who have received the vaccine.

Reprogramming tumour cells using an antimalarial drug

General Research

Results from the ATOM clinical trial at the University of Oxford have shown that the anti-malarial drug Atovaquone can reduce very low oxygen tumour environments. This has the potential to make cancers behave less aggressively and to improve the impact of everyday cancer treatments.

Oxford-led technology to help those at high risk from Covid-19

Coronavirus COVID-19 General Research

More people in England at high risk from Covid-19 will get priority access to vaccines thanks to new technology developed by a University of Oxford-led team of researchers that can identify those who may be most vulnerable to the virus.