Animals in the Zika virus life cycle: What to expect from megadiverse Latin American countries

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Future laboratory, field, and eco-epidemiological research should focus on wildlife hosts to elucidate their role in ZIKV epidemiology in the Americas and enhance the epidemic’s control.

The review aimed to describe ZIKV infection in host animals and its relationship to biodiversity, land management changes, and the impact on human health in Latin American countries. Mammals, reptiles, and birds were identified with the potential to support the ZIKV life cycle. Studies are needed on ZIKV in wild and domestic animals in the Americas, both to understand their role in the natural life cycle of ZIKV and to target surveillance for between species ZIKV transmission. Driving forces in the spread of diseases applying to the ZIKV epidemic include: the impact of humans on the environment (habitat destruction, land management change, introduction of invasive species, urban development and crowding), climate change, intense human movement, loss of biodiversity, and wildlife trafficking. Several databases were searched but review methods were not otherwise reported nor was risk of bias.

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