West Nile virus entered the United States in 1999 and is now considered a seasonal epidemic that starts in the summer and continues into the fall. First isolated in Uganda in 1937, the virus can cause severe human meningitis or encephalitis in 1% of those infected. In 2007 the U.S. Centers for Disease Control reported 124 fatalities. The rapid spread of West Nile virus has put local and state mosquito surveillance programs on the front line of public health and disease preparedness.
In response to ‘A Zika Paper’, in which I discussed my thoughts on the problems with scientific publishing, Kim from Stockholm wrote to TWiV. "This Zika Diary post really made me depressed"
Those of us working in scientific research often receive critiques of our grant applications or papers that we submitted for publication. In most cases it's necessary to respond to these critiques to obtain funding or to publish a paper. I'm sure that the responses that many of us provide are quite different from what we are thinking.
In the last column I wrote of our first unsuccessful attempt to secure funding for our work on Zika virus. Since then we have received the reviewers' comments and now we can determine what they did not like.
My lab began working on Zika virus early in 2016, switching from poliovirus. Since then we have been generating results with Zika virus and applying for financial support. Unfortunately our first effort to secure funding fell short.
Dr. Michael Diamond talks about how his laboratory has studied three emerging mosquito-transmitted viruses (West Nile, Chikungunya,and Zika viruses) of global importance from a basic perspective, and how this information facilitates the development of diagnostics, therapeutics, and vaccines.