Zika virus disease is caused by a virus transmitted by Aedes mosquitoes. The World Health Organization (WHO) declared Zika virus a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC).

Local transmission has been reported in many countries and territories, especially in South America. Zika virus can be spread by a pregnant woman to her fetus. It has been linked to microcephaly, a serious birth defect of the brain, in babies whose mothers had the Zika virus while pregnant.

Following the many reports of microcephaly cases, researchers are now working on a better understanding of the underlying infection and transmission process. Since then, several other diseases (such as Guillain-Barré syndrome) have been associated with Zika infection but further research needs to confirm these hypotheses.

Zika virus will likely continue to spread to new areas. The International Scientific Community has raised awareness about the risk of pandemia after the Olympic Games held in August in Brazil, the zone worst affected by Zika.

The virus could spread to almost every country with huge consequences. Researchers around the world are working harder and harder to understand the virus and the contamination process. Bertin Instruments, thanks to its tissue homogenizers product range, Precellys, helps researchers increase the throughput of their sample preparation.

The Precellys Evolution is an homogenizer based on bead-beating technology. Thanks to its flexibility, efficiency and reproducibility, the Precellys is used extensively in research aimed at finding a vaccine for Zika. It greatly improves the crucial step of sample preparation.

Access the pre-print articles here: http://biorxiv.org/content/biorxiv/early/2016/03/01/041905.full.pdf http://biorxiv.org/content/early/2016/04/13/048454  
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