Zika Virus Resource Center

Free access to medical research, online tools and expert advice on the Zika virus

February 9, 2016

Updated on 24 January 2017

Image © istock.com / Evgeny Gromov

Welcome to Elsevier's Zika Virus Resource Center

The Zika virus is transmitted by the Aedes species mosquito (A. aegypti and A. albopictus), which also spreads dengue and chikungunya viruses. (Source: Centers for Disease Control)This page will provide continually updated resources from Elsevier's content and experts, including The Lancet, Cell Press and world-renowned infectious disease expert Dr. Raphael Dolin. We developed it to give anyone interested in Zika virus – medical professionals, health researchers, policy makers, the media and members of the public – one place where they can access the depth and breadth of information.

Elsevier's resources span scientific and medical journals and textbooks, educational products and a variety of other content. We have also asked our clinicians to provide original commentary. Our goal is to provide these resources for free as the Zika crisis continues. If you have any question or suggestions, we welcome you to leave them in the comment section.

In Portuguese and Spanish

Thanks to our Elsevier colleagues in Brazil, this page has also been translated into Portuguese and Spanish:

Online Resources

Cell Press Zika Virus Portal

Since the beginning of the crisis, Cell Press has made all content about the Zika free to access. You can find these articles in the Cell Press Zika Virus Portal. In addition, their journals are working in reviewers to fast-track review all Zika submissions. Read more.

Cell Press Zika Virus Portal

The Lancet Zika Virus Resource centre

The Lancet Zika virus resource centre brings together the best evidence and reporting from across The Lancet family of journals to assist researchers, policy makers and healthcare workers in understanding the effects of the outbreak and how best to respond. The centre will also feature selected content from across Elsevier journals, providing a comprehensive resource of the latest research, analysis and commentary as developments unfold. All content in the resource centre has been made freely available.

The Lancet Zika virus resource centre

Journal articles

Acta Tropica

Dave D. Chadee, Raymond Martinez: Aedes aegypti (L.) in Latin American and Caribbean region: With growing evidence for vector adaptation to climate change? Acta Tropica (April 2016)

American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology

Antiviral Research

Autoimmunity Reviews

Cell Press

Read all Cell Press articles related to Zika free of charge in the Cell Press Zika Virus Portal. Here is a sample:

Clinical Microbiology and Infection

Current Opinion in Virology

Diagnostic Microbiology and Infectious Disease


Emergency Medicine Clinics of North America


Infection, Disease & Health

Infection, Genetics and Evolution

International Journal of Infectious Diseases

Journal of Autoimmunity

Journal of Clinical Virology

Journal of Infection

Journal of Molecular Biology

Journal of Virological Methods

The Lancet

Read more articles in The Lancet Zika Virus resource centre

Microbes and Infection

New Microbes and New Infections

Travel Medicine and Infectious Disease

Transfusion Medicine Reviews



Insights into research

Scopus for Zika research and collaboration

Article-level metrics for the article "Zika virus, French Polynesia, South Pacific, 2013"Researchers working on developing a vaccine for the Zika virus can use Scopus, the world's largest abstract and citation database of peer-reviewed literature, to find both the latest and top-cited research, identify researchers to collaborate with, and find journals to publish in. Scopus has tools that enable researchers at subscribed institutions to track, analyze and visualize research and includes scientific journals, books and conference proceedings. Scopus is updated every day so it is easy to see how fast this subject area is moving. On March 2, 2016, there were 161 documents in Scopus. Now, on April 18, 2016, there are 313 documents, and this count grows daily.

From data pulled on March 2, we see that the most cited researcher for a “zika virus” search is Dr. Didier Musso from the Institut Louis Malarde, Pôle de Recherche et de Veille sur les Maladies Infectieuses Émergentes in French Polynesia. While today he is still the most cited researcher, the article that is cited the most has changed. When looking at Dr. Musso’s Scopus author profile, we see that his most cited paper with 71 citations is Coxiella burnetii blood cultures from acute and chronic Q-fever patients from 1995. Previously, the most-cited article was “Zika virus, French Polynesia, South Pacific, 2013” published in 2014 by the CDC journal Emerging Infectious Diseases. In March, the latter paper had  20 citations and today has 40 citations. It is still interesting to see, when looking at the article-level metrics, that it has most recently been cited in a post from Harvard’s Health blog titled “What you need to know about the Zika virus."

Mendeley's Zika Virus Research Group

Mendeley groupsMendeley has created a Zika Virus Research Group to share references to articles related to the Zika virus in support of the research community's work in finding a vaccine. Anyone registered for Mendeley can share papers (references only) and join discussions. Mendeley is a free global reference management and research collaboration tool. Mendeley’s desktop, mobile and web applications help people to organize and share their work, generate awareness of their publications and gain insight into how their publications are consumed by other researchers.

SciVal analysis of global Zika research

<strong>Keyphrase analysis.</strong> Top 50 keyphrases by relevance, based on 97 publications (Source: Zika Virus SciVal Analysis)In support of the research community's efforts to develop a vaccine for the Zika virus, Elsevier has compiled SciVal analysis related to the Zika virus, Flavivirus (genus of the Zika virus) and Aedes mosquitoes (transmitter of the Zika virus). It is available here as a free PDF download along with the full Excel data export. Elsevier’s SciVal offers quick and easy access to the research performance of 7,000 research institutions and 220 nations. SciVal aggregates Scopus data to give meaningful insights to help researchers find collaboration partners, locate research hubs of excellence and identify rising stars.

Download the full SciVal analysis of zika virus research here.

Insight from experts

Why does Zika virus infect brain cells in fetuses but not adults?

By Lucy Goodchild van Hilten | 24 January 2017

Widespread fear caused by the link between the Zika virus epidemic and an increase in cases of microcephaly has rippled through South and Central America. For the first time in history, governments have advised women in Brazil and surrounding countries to avoid pregnancy, and suggested pregnant women avoid visiting those countries. But Zika is relatively harmless to the adults infected with the virus, only causing mild symptoms such as fever, headache, mild rash and joint pain in a minority of cases. Why does Zika virus cause brain defects in developing fetuses and only rarely cause problems in adult brains?

Two studies published in EBioMedicine go some way to explaining this phenomenon, revealing that Zika virus heads straight for stem cells in the brain.

Disproportionate and Devastating: Q&A with Vaccine editor Danny Altmann of Imperial College London

By Matthanja Müller | 9 June 2016

Prof. Danny Altmann, PhDProf. Danny Altmann and his colleague Dr. Rosemary Boyton of Imperial College London have received a major grant to investigate the immunological foundations of Zika Virus. Their project, in collaboration with research groups from Sao Paolo, Brazil and Seattle, USA, aims to develop the first dataset on human Zika virus CD4. The grant is part of an initiative of the MRC, the Newton Fund and the Wellcome Trust.

Dr. Altmann is Associate Editor of the journal Vaccine, published by Elsevier. Read the Q&A on the Imperial College website.

What you should know about Zika virus

By Raphael Dolin, MD | 8 February 2016

Raphael Dolin, MD, is a leading infectious disease expert, a professor at Harvard Medical school, and an editor of <em>Mandell, Douglas,  and Bennett's Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases, 8th Edition</em> (Elsevier 2015)Zika virus is a mosquito-transmitted flavivirus which has been known to cause outbreaks of disease in Africa, Southeast Asia and the Pacific Islands prior to 2015. In 2015, widespread Zika virus outbreaks were detected in South and Central America; and as of January 2016, Zika outbreaks involve 18 countries and territories in the Americas. Generally, Zika virus is a mild self-limited disease consisting of fever, maculopapular rash, arthralgias and conjunctivitis. Illness generally lasts from a few days up to a week. Approximately 80 percent of Zika infections are estimated to be subclinical (without symptoms).

In the current outbreaks, Zika has been associated with neurological illnesses and postnatal complications. The neurological illness most frequently seen has been Guillain-Barré Syndrome, a reversible illness that causes tingling and sometimes severe weakness. The postnatal complications that have been observed are microcephaly and intracranial calcifications.These devastating birth defects have given rise to much of the recent public concern about Zika. In Brazil, these occurred significantly more frequently in areas that had Zika outbreaks than would have ordinarily been expected in areas without outbreaks. Read more.

Zika Cases Confirmed in North America: Time to Panic?

By Rodney E. Rohde, PhD, for InfectionControl.tips | 14 January 2016

<a target="_blank" href="https://www.elsevier.com/connect/search?query=rodney+e+rohde">Rodney E. Rohde</a>, PhD, is Chair of the Clinical Laboratory Science Program at Texas State University. He is an infectious disease specialist, and his research focuses on public health microbiology. Zika has arrived in North America. If you live in Texas where a case was confirmed, you have no doubt read the headlines and have read of the dangers of the disease and its link to birth defects. However, the truth is that the recent confirmed case was contracted in Latin America, not Texas; and the correlation between Zika and birth defects is being studied for causation, but has not been confirmed.

The media may be exaggerating the threat of Zika to garner the attention of their audience, but such tactics are not helpful and may put undue stress on the public health system. Read more.

Patient and traveler information

CDC models risk of zika virus importation from travel to Olympic and Paralympic Games

July 13, 2016

According to the Brazilian Tourism Board, approximately 350,000 to 500,000 international visitors and athletes from 207 countries are expected to travel to Rio de Janeiro for the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games. This travel volume represents a very small fraction – less than 0.25 percent – of the total estimated 2015 travel volume to Zika-affected countries. Visitors to the games are expected to have a low probability of mosquito-borne Zika infections because the games will occur during the winter season in Rio (August 5-21 and September 7-18), when the cooler and drier weather typically reduces mosquito populations. CDC conducted a risk analysis to predict those countries at risk for Zika virus importation exclusively attributable to the games. Read more.

Zika virus information sheet

Based on new recommendations from the Center for Disease Control, Elsevier’s Patient Engagement group developed a Zika Virus Disease Information document for patients who are traveling or know family or friends traveling in and out of countries where there are known cases of the Zika virus. The purpose is to provide up-to-date information for patients on the causes, symptoms and risks associated with the Zika virus. This is an example of the patient information we provide to customers in all healthcare settings. — Julibeth Lauren, PhD, APRN, CNS, VP/Editor in Chief, Elsevier Patient Engagement

Other resources

The Centers for Disease Control

The CDC has continually updated information and resources on its Zika Virus page, including posters and fact sheets you can download:

CDC posters and fact sheets on Zika virus

Zika outbreaks are occurring in many countries, and the virus is expected to spread further. (Source: <a target="_blank" href="http://www.cdc.gov/zika/geo/index.html">Centers for Disease Control</a>)

The Pan American Health Organization and WHO

The Pan American Health Organization has a continually updated Zika virus information page, which includes a Q&A on Zika and pregnancy. Founded in 1902, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) is the world’s oldest international public health agency. It serves as the regional office for the Americas of the World Health Organization (WHO). Both are part of the United Nations.

The American Medical Association

The AMA's online Zika Virus Resource Center has information from the CDC and other public health groups. Resources cover:

  • Understanding the virus
  • Managing and reporting Zika virus infections
  • Caring for pregnant women during a Zika virus outbreak
  • Evaluating and testing infants


The Medscape Zika Virus site features news, journal articles and advice for clinicians, including:

The medical content advisor for this resource center is Dr. Jonathan Teich, Chief Medical Informatics Officer at Elsevier, a professor at Harvard University, at an attending physician in emergency medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston.


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