PAGES: DOI: 10.1590/0074-02760160104 Full paper

Debora Ferreira Barreto-Vieira, Ortrud Monika Barth, Marcos Alexandre Nunes da Silva, Carolina Cardoso Santos, Aline da Silva Santos, Joaquim Batista F. Filho, Ana Maria Bispo de Filippis


Since 2015 Zika virus (ZIKV) infected thousands of Brazilian people and spread to other American countries. Beside real time reverse transcriptase polimerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) diagnosis detecting the viral genome, virus isolation in cell lines was useful also and to study the viral particle structure and location inside the cells. This tool was achieved using transmission electron microscopy (TEM) of ZIKV infected cell lines. Human blood, obtained from a Brazilian patient during the first days of symptoms, was isolated in C6/36 mosquito cells and inoculated in sequence in Vero cells, fixed after six days, embedded in polymers, and ultrathin cut. This flavivirus, like dengue viruses, showed numerous virus particles after replication occurring inside vesicles of the endoplasmic reticulum confirming the susceptibility of the Vero cell line to ZIKV. TEM is the unique technique disposable to make the virus really visible.


This paper was submitted to the Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz on 14 March 2016 and was posted to the Zika Fast Track site on 14 March 2016, according to the protocol for public health emergencies for international concern as described in Dye et al. (2016) ( The information herein is available for unrestricted use, distribution and reproduction provided that the original work is properly cited as indicated by the Creative Commons Attribution licence (CC BY).


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