Zika, a disease caused because of mosquito, broke out as epidemic in Brazil in the year 2015. It spread to about 70 countries.
In November 2016, it was declared that Zika was no more a public health emercency, by the World Health Organisation.
An infected Aedes species mosquito (Ae. aegypti and Ae. Albopictus) carries the flavivirus and now 35 mosquito species have been identified by researchers including 26 that were previously unsuspected, that are responsible for transmitting Zika virus.
"The biggest take-home message is that these are the species that we need to prioritise," said lead author Michelle Evans from University of Georgia in the US.
Targetting the potential vectors of Zika, that is, the sopecies that transmit virus from one host to another, is an urgent need according to the researchers as it's effects on health are devastating.
The first step of pinpointing the Zika vectors could be streamlined by the new predictive model detailed in the journal eLife.
"What we've done is to draw up a list of potential vector candidates based on the associations with viruses that they've had in the past as well as other traits that are specific to that species," study co-author Courtney Murdock, Assistant Professor at University of Georgia, said.
"That allows us to have a predictive framework to effectively get a list of candidate species without having to search blindly," Murdock said.
Data used in the model consisted of information about the traits of flaviviruses – the family that includes Zika, yellow fever and dengue – and all the mosquito species that have ever been associated with them.