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Possible Mechanisms Explaining the Association between Zika Virus and Guillain-barre Syndrome: An Immunological Approach

[ Vol. 15 , Issue. 2 ]


Jose Marchan*   Pages 166 - 171 ( 6 )


After the outbreak in French Polynesia, Zika virus (ZIKV) explosive pandemic occurred in 2015, reports that ZIKV was linked to other diseases, especially neurological complications such as Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS), also burst in almost every continent, thereby turning into an international concern. In South America, the highest incidence occurred in Venezuela with approximately 680 cases of GBS after ZIKV infection. Currently, the main roots of this association remain unknown. In this regard, it is thought that the immune system plays a central role in such association through the host protection or even improving ZIKV establishment and progression. Nonneutralizing auto-antibodies, the complement system, self-reactive T cells, inflammation, the “cytokine storm”, prior exposures to other arboviruses such as dengue virus and chikungunya virus, the age and genetic susceptibility of the patient, and the biology of the vector are the main determinant factors, which perhaps, are involved in the pathological relationship: ZIKV and GBS. On the other hand, more multidisciplinary studies are required to provide means to develop effective therapeutics against this new global health threat that represents an emerging danger that can increase again and trigger other neurological disorders.


Zika virus, guillain-barre syndrome, molecular mimicry, autoimmunity, cross-reactivity, association.


Centro de Medicina Experimental, Instituto Venezolano de Investigaciones Científicas, Caracas

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