New research indicates that swelling and irritation caused by mosquito bites recruit white blood cells that help arboviruses similar to Zika replicate and spread, thereby enhancing the severity of infection (Pingen M et al. Immunity. 2016;44:1455-1469).
A research team led by investigators at the University of Leeds injected Semliki Forest virus or Bunyamwera virus—which, like Zika, can be transmitted by Aedes mosquitoes—into the skin of mice with a mosquito bite at the injection site.
Hampton T. New Insights Into Arbovirus Infection and Immunity. JAMA. 2016;316(5):484. doi:10.1001/jama.2016.9623