Characterization of a 2016 Clinical Isolate of Zika Virus in Non-human Primates

Xiao Feng Li, Hao Long Dong, Xing Yao Huang, Ye Feng Qiu, Hong Jiang Wang, Yong Qiang Deng, Na Na Zhang, Qing Ye, Hui Zhao, Zhong Yu Liu, Hang Fan, Xiao Ping An, Shi Hui Sun, Bo Gao, Yun Zhi Fa, Yi Gang Tong, Fu Chun Zhang, George F. Gao, Wu Chun Cao, Pei Yong ShiCheng Feng Qin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

87 Scopus citations


Animal models are critical to understand disease and to develop countermeasures for the ongoing epidemics of Zika virus (ZIKV). Here we report a non-human primate model using a 2016 contemporary clinical isolate of ZIKV. Upon subcutaneous inoculation, rhesus macaques developed fever and viremia, with robust excretion of ZIKV RNA in urine, saliva, and lacrimal fluid. Necropsy of two infected animals revealed that systematic infections involving central nervous system and visceral organs were established at the acute phrase. ZIKV initially targeted the intestinal tracts, spleen, and parotid glands, and retained in spleen and lymph nodes till 10 days post infection. ZIKV-specific immune responses were readily induced in all inoculated animals. The non-human primate model described here provides a valuable platform to study ZIKV pathogenesis and to evaluate vaccine and therapeutics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)170-177
Number of pages8
StatePublished - Oct 1 2016


  • Lacrimal fluid
  • Non-human primate model
  • Target organ
  • Zika virus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


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