Invasion Dynamics of Teratogenic Infections in Light of Rubella Control: Implications for Zika Virus.

Tuesday, 11th of October 2016 Print

PLoS Curr. 2016 Aug 16;8. pii: ecurrents.outbreaks.873427b89ab9c75eb90c8ddb8d8c7c90. doi: 10.1371/currents.outbreaks.873427b89ab9c75eb90c8ddb8d8c7c90.

Invasion Dynamics of Teratogenic Infections in Light of Rubella Control: Implications for Zika Virus.

Metcalf CJ1 Barrett A2.

Author information



The greatest burden for a subset of pathogens is associated with infection during pregnancy. Evidence for teratogenic effects of Zika Virus have highlighted the importance of understanding the epidemiology of such pathogens. Rubella is perhaps the most classic example and there is much to be learned from the long history of modelling associated with this virus.


We extended an existing framework for modeling age-specific dynamics of rubella to illustrate how the body of knowledge of rubella dynamics informs the dynamics of teratogenic infections more broadly and particularly the impact of control on such infections in different transmission settings.


During invasion the burden in women of childbearing age is expected to peak but then fall to low levels before eventually levelling out. Importantly as illustrated by rubella dynamics there is potential for a paradoxical effect where inadequate control efforts can increase the burden.


Drawing on the existing body of work on rubella dynamics highlights key knowledge gaps for understanding the risks associated with Zika Virus. The magnitude and impacts of sterilizing immunity plus antigenic maps measuring cross-protection with other flaviviruses and the magnitude of transmission as well as likely impact of control efforts on transmission are likely to be key variables for robust inference into the outcome of management efforts for Zika Virus.


Special Postings


Highly Accessed

Website Views