Zika virus (strain Mr 766)


Enveloped, spherical, about 50 nm in diameter. The surface proteins are arranged in an icosahedral-like symmetry.


Monopartite, linear, ssRNA(+) genome of of 10,794 bp. The genome 5' end has a methylated nucleotide cap for canonical cellular translation. The 3' terminus is not polyadenylated but forms a loop structure. This secondary structure leads to the formation of a subgenomic flavivirus RNA (sfRNA) through genomic RNA degradation by host XRN1. sfRNA is essential for pathogenicity , and may play a role in inhibiting host RIG-I antiviral activity as shown for Dengue virus


The virion RNA is infectious and serves as both the genome and the viral messenger RNA. The whole genome is translated in a polyprotein 3,419 aa long, which is processed co- and post-translationally by host and viral proteases.


CYTOPLASMIC in mammals, NUCLEAR in insects?

  1. Attachement of the viral envelope protein E to host receptors mediates internalization into the host cell by apoptotic mimicry
  2. Fusion of virus membrane with host endosomal membrane. RNA genome is released into the cytoplasm.
  3. The positive-sense genomic ssRNA is translated into a polyprotein, which is cleaved into all structural and non structural proteins (to yield the replication proteins).
  4. Replication takes place at the surface of endoplasmic reticulum in cytoplasmic viral factories. A dsRNA genome is synthesized from the genomic ssRNA(+).
  5. The dsRNA genome is transcribed/replicated thereby providing viral mRNAs/new ssRNA(+) genomes.
  6. Virus assembly occurs at the endoplasmic reticulum. The virion buds at the endoplasmic reticulum and is transported to the Golgi apparatus.
  7. The prM protein is cleaved in the Golgi, thereby maturing the virion which is fusion competent.
  8. Release of new virions by exocytosis.


Global map of Zika virus infection source


Human cases (source )

First report: 1947 in Uganda on a Rhesus monkey

Location Year Reported Human cases Estimated Humancases Seroprevalence
1952 Uganda 6.1%
1963 Indonesia 13%
1964 Uganda 1
1975 Nigeria 2
1977-78 Indonesia 17
1999 Ivory coast 1
2007 Micronesia, Yap 185 73%
2010 Cambodia 1
2013 Australia 1 (imported)
2013 Indonesia 1
2013-14 New-Caledonia 32
2013-14 French Polynesia 8,510 29,000
2014 New-Caledonia 114
2015 South America ?>1.5 million


Case fatality rate: <0.001%. Seven death were related to Zika virus infection in Brazil in december 2015, for more than 1 million estimated cases
Incubation in Humans: 82 hours

Matching UniProtKB/Swiss-Prot entries

1 entry grouped by strain (browse by keywords)

1 entry

Zika virus (strain Mr 766) (ZIKV) reference strain

POLG_ZIKV Genome polyprotein [Cleaved into: Protein C (Capsid protein) (Core protein); Protein prM (Precursor ...