Although SARS-CoV-2 has moved to the forefront worldwide, there have been quite a few new papers on the Zika virus, albeit a number in conjunction with COVID-19. In this update we will look at two recent papers, one that is focused solely on the Zika virus, and another that jointly addresses the coronavirus as well. This is while Moderna Therapeutics has both a Zika and Coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine in the pipeline.1

An open access report in Scientific Reports from a team, predominately out of Florida Atlantic University lead by Md Alamgir Kabir, tested and assessed twenty-one commercially available monoclonal and polyclonal antibodies (purified from mouse hybridoma cell line or rabbit) against nine ZIKV and twelve DENV strains. As the authors state, ZIKV E protein detection in various experimental conditions are an important first step for the development of an effective detection platform for the ZIKV. The results they saw were surprising. Nearly a third of the tests failed to recognize viral antigens (8 of 21) present. Conversely, they did validate 3 anti-DENV E protein antibodies, 6 anti-ZIKV E protein antibodies and 4 antibodies that recognized both DENV and ZIKV E proteins. Finally, they selected a panel of 5 antibodies (3 ZIKV specific, 1 DENV specific and one cross-reactive for both ZIKV and DENV) for their specificity and sensitivity. The antibody panel was validated utilizing three ZIKV and one DENV samples.2

The second paper, also an open access article, while focused primarily on coronavirus, does
touch on Zika. The authors evaluated articles, irrespective of language, that addressed D-dimer values between COVID-19 patients with or without severe disease (i.e., those needing mechanical ventilation, ICU admission, or those who died). Their findings concluded that, “what clearly emerges from the results of our pooled analysis is that D-dimer values are even higher in patients with severe COVID-19 than in those with milder forms and therefore, D-dimer measurement may be associated with evolution toward worse clinical picture…”2 Their research of the papers, led them to conclude that, “D-dimer elevations and disseminated coagulopathy may be commonplace in patients with severe forms of COVID-19,” and intriguingly, “in other severe infections disease such as systemic human immunodeficiency virus, Ebola and Zica [sic], and Chikungunya virus...” They conclude with the appeal “…that urgent studies shall be planned to define whether adjunctive antithrombotic therapies (e.g., anticoagulants, antithrombin or thrombomodulin) may be helpful in patients with severe COVID-19.”3



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