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Structure of Zika virus determined

A near-atomic level map of Zika virus shows its structure to be largely similar to that of dengue virus and other flaviviruses, but with a notable difference in one key surface protein, report scientists funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health. The variation in the Zika envelope (E) glycoproteins– 180 of which are packed on the virus’s outer shell– may provide clues to better understand how Zika virus enters human cells and suggests ways to combat the virus with drugs or vaccines aimed at the newly detailed region.

Representation of the Surface of the Zika Virus
A representation of the surface of the Zika virus with protruding envelope glycoproteins (red) shown.
Credit: Courtesy of Kuhn and Rossmann research groups, Purdue University