Genetic Sleuths Pinpoint Moment Zika Turned So Deadly
It used to be a relatively harmless pathogen.
The New York Times:
The Zika Virus Grew Deadlier With A Small Mutation, Study Suggests
An intriguing study in mice, which has prompted some skepticism among experts, suggests that a single genetic mutation helped transform the Zika virus into a devastating force in Latin America. The report was published on Thursday in the journal Science. The mutation, called S139N, first arose in an Asian strain of the Zika virus in 2013, just before a small outbreak in French Polynesia — the first linked to an increase in babies born with microcephaly. (Belluck and McNeil, 9/28)
Los Angeles Times:
Once Harmless, The Zika Virus Became Lethal After A Single Genetic Mutation Took Hold Around 2013
In a new round of genetic sleuthing, Chinese researchers have pinpointed the single genetic change that has made the Zika virus a fearsome plague to pregnant women and their babies across the Americas, responsible for thousands of cases of microcephaly and other grievous brain abnormalities that sometimes result in death. (Healy, 9/28)