The current ZIKV epidemic follows a trend that started more than 500 years ago with introduction of the yellow fever mosquito, Aedes aegypti, from Africa into the Americas. The invasion of A aegypti led to epidemics of old world arboviral diseases such as yellow fever (1647), dengue fever (1780), dengue hemorrhagic fever (1982), and chikungunya (2013), which share the same mosquito vector and urban transmission cycle as ZIKV. The worldwide call for new initiatives to combat ZIKV must be informed by decades of basic and applied research on dengue and other closely related arboviruses. This Viewpoint will focus on research priorities to better understand and effectively respond to the ZIKV crisis.
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