Advertisement

Zika virus in saliva—New challenges for prevention of human to human transmission

      The ongoing Zika virus (ZIKV) outbreak in South and Central America has rapidly focused global attention due to its association with clusters of congenital malformations such as microcephaly, and neurological disorders and impending 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, Brazil [
      • Petersen E.
      • Wilson M.E.
      • Touch S.
      • McCloskey B.
      • Mwaba P.
      • Bates M.
      • et al.
      Unexpected and rapid spread of Zika virus in the Americas—implications for public health preparedness for mass gatherings at the 2016 Brazil Olympic games.
      ]. It was declared a global emergency by the World Health Organization and the ensuing flurry of research is defining the complexity of the epidemiology and pathogenesis of ZIKV. The main mode of transmission to humans is through the bite of an infected Aedes spp. mosquito. However, the unexpected rapid spread and transmission of the ZIKV has raised questions as to whether secondary human-to-human transmission can occur after primary infection. ZIKV has been detected in bodily fluids such as serum, urine, and semen. ZIKV has been detected and isolated in cell culture from semen samples of patients and cases of sexual transmission of ZIKV infection from males to their female partners have been documented [
      • Hills S.L.
      • Russell K.
      • Hennessey M.
      • et al.
      Transmission of Zika virus through sexual contact with travelers to areas of ongoing transmission—continental United States.
      ]. Oral-genital contact can transmit a number of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) including human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) [
      • Liuzzi G.
      • Chirianni A.
      • Clementi M.
      • et al.
      Analysis of HIV-1 load in blood, semen, and saliva: evidence for different viral compartments in a cross-sectional and longitudinal study.
      ]. Even though oral sex carries a lower risk of HIV transmission than other sexual activities, the risk is not zero. It is difficult to measure the exact risk because people who practice oral sex may also practice other forms of sex during the same encounter (http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/risk/oralsex.html).

      Keywords

      To read this article in full you will need to make a payment

      Purchase one-time access:

      Academic & Personal: 24 hour online accessCorporate R&D Professionals: 24 hour online access
      One-time access price info
      • For academic or personal research use, select 'Academic and Personal'
      • For corporate R&D use, select 'Corporate R&D Professionals'

      Subscribe:

      Subscribe to European Journal of Internal Medicine
      Already a print subscriber? Claim online access
      Already an online subscriber? Sign in
      Institutional Access: Sign in to ScienceDirect

      References

        • Petersen E.
        • Wilson M.E.
        • Touch S.
        • McCloskey B.
        • Mwaba P.
        • Bates M.
        • et al.
        Unexpected and rapid spread of Zika virus in the Americas—implications for public health preparedness for mass gatherings at the 2016 Brazil Olympic games.
        Int J Infect Dis. Feb 4 2016; ([pii: S1201–9712(16)00021–7. [Epub ahead of print]])https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijid.2016.02.001
        • Hills S.L.
        • Russell K.
        • Hennessey M.
        • et al.
        Transmission of Zika virus through sexual contact with travelers to areas of ongoing transmission—continental United States.
        MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. Mar 4 2016; 65: 215-216https://doi.org/10.15585/mmwr.mm6508e2
        • Liuzzi G.
        • Chirianni A.
        • Clementi M.
        • et al.
        Analysis of HIV-1 load in blood, semen, and saliva: evidence for different viral compartments in a cross-sectional and longitudinal study.
        AIDS. Dec 1996; 10: F51-F56
        • Barzon L.
        • Pacenti M.
        • Berto A.
        • et al.
        Isolation of infectious Zika virus from saliva and prolonged viral RNA shedding in a traveller returning from the Dominican Republic to Italy, January 2016.
        Euro Surveill. Mar 10 2016; 21https://doi.org/10.2807/1560-7917.ES.2016.21.10.30159
        • Musso D.
        • Roche C.
        • Nhan T.X.
        • Robin E.
        • Teissier A.
        • Cao-Lormeau V.M.
        Detection of Zika virus in saliva.
        J Clin Virol. Jul 2015; 68 ([Epub 2015 Apr 29]): 53-55https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jcv.2015.04.021