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Complete Genome Sequence of Zika Isolated From Semen

Many answers to questions about the virus may lie in the viral genome

FRIDAY, Oct. 14, 2016 (HealthDay News) — The first complete genome sequence of a sample of Zika virus derived from semen has been obtained, according to research published in the September/October issue of Genome Announcements.

Barry Atkinson, Ph.D., of Public Health England in Porton Down, and colleagues worked with a semen sample from a British man recovering from a Zika infection contracted in the Caribbean.

The researchers were able to isolate Zika from the semen sample and obtain the first genome sequence of the virus.

“We have many unanswered questions about how Zika virus is able to be transmitted sexually, whereas similar viruses are not,” Atkinson said in a news release from the American Society for Microbiology. “It is possible that the answers to these questions lie in the viral genome, but many more sequences from semen are required before scientists can see if there are any changes that shed light on this topic.”

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