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Zika virus isolated from semen of infected man

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  • Zika virus isolated from semen of infected man

    The first complete genetic "blueprint" ? genome ? of a sample of Zika virus derived from semen has been obtained by researchers.
    A major challenge
    The mosquito-borne Zika virus typically results in a mild, transient illness, but can be especially harmful if contracted during pregnancy. That's because maternal infection has been tied to a severe birth defect called microcephaly, where babies are born with too-small heads and brains.
    While mosquito bites are by far the most common means of infection, cases of sexual transmission have been documented.

    However, scientists have had difficulty isolating the virus from the semen of infected men, noted the authors of the new study, published in the journal Genome Announcements.
    "Isolating Zika virus from semen has been a major challenge and little information has been published on this specific topic, so the methods we adopted may provide a template for others to follow," study co-author Barry Atkinson, of Public Health England, said in a journal news release.

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    The original article