Research Article: Comprehensive Annotation of Mature Peptides and Genotypes for Zika Virus

Date Published: January 26, 2017

Publisher: Public Library of Science

Author(s): Guangyu Sun, Christopher N. Larsen, Nicole Baumgarth, Edward B. Klem, Richard H. Scheuermann, Tony T. Wang.


The rapid spread of Zika virus (ZIKV) has caused much concern in the global health community, due in part to a link to fetal microcephaly and other neurological illnesses. While an increasing amount of ZIKV genomic sequence data is being generated, an understanding of the virus molecular biology is still greatly lacking. A significant step towards establishing ZIKV proteomics would be the compilation of all proteins produced by the virus, and the resultant virus genotypes. Here we report for the first time such data, using new computational methods for the annotation of mature peptide proteins, genotypes, and recombination events for all ZIKV genomes. The data is made publicly available through the Virus Pathogen Resource at

Partial Text

The recent emergence of Zika virus (ZIKV) poses a global public health threat [1]. ZIKV is a mosquito-borne arbovirus of the Flaviviridae family, first isolated from a Rhesus macaque monkey in the Zika forest of Uganda in 1947. Until recently ZIKV outbreaks had only been seen in Africa, Asia, and the Pacific Islands [2]. Zika’s epidemiologic range has now expanded to Brazil and other South, Central and North American countries. In most cases, symptomatic patients experience mild fever, rash, and arthralgia. However, the virus has evolved, and new and alarming correlations between ZIKV infection and microcephaly and Guillian-Barre syndrome now imply a causal relationship between infection and birth defects.

This report describes a suite of bioinformatic tools to predict polyprotein protease cleavage sites, lineage genotypes and recombination events for ZIKV. These tools have been used to produce comprehensive, consistent, and continually updated annotations for all publicly available ZIKV sequences made available through the ViPR resource. These standardized annotations and tools are expected to enhance the rapid dissemination of crucial information needed for the development of diagnostics and treatment interventions for this newly emerging pathogen.




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