Zika Forest

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A path through the Zika Forest leading to an observational steel tower operated by the Uganda Virus Research Institute

The Ziika Forest ( /ˈzkə/), better known as the Zika Forest, is a tropical forest near Entebbe in Uganda.[1] Ziika means "overgrown" in the Luganda language. As the property of the Uganda Virus Research Institute (UVRI) of Entebbe, it is protected and restricted to scientific research.[1]

The forest covers an area of about 25 hectares (62 acres) next to the swamps of Waiya Bay, an inlet of Lake Victoria. Easily accessible and combining several ecosystems, the Zika Forest is well suited to the study of mosquitoes.[1] According to the UVRI, the size of the research area of the forest is about 12 hectares (30 acres).[2] The forest has a rich biodiversity in plants and moths, and is home to about 40 types of mosquitoes. The UVRI also maintains an insectarium.

The forest is also accessible to visitors for bird watching. Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter once visited the forest for that purpose.[2]

The Zika virus as well as the moths Sidisca zika and Milocera zika are named after the forest.

The Zika Forest is where the infected Aedes mosquito first spread Zika to rhesus monkeys, then spreading further to humans.[citation needed]

Mosquito studies[edit]

Investigations of mosquitoes at Zika started in 1946 as part of the study of human yellow fever at the Yellow Fever Research Institute (renamed East African Virus Research Institute in 1950, and then Uganda Virus Research Institute in 1977), established in Entebbe, Uganda in 1936 by the Rockefeller Foundation. In 1947, the Zika virus was isolated from a rhesus monkey stationed at Zika.[3][4] In 1960, a 36.6-metre (120-ft) steel tower was moved from Mpanga Forest to Zika to study the vertical distribution of mosquitoes, allowing for a comprehensive study of the mosquito population in 1964.[1] In that same year, the Zika virus was identified from a collected Aedes africanus sample.[5] No routine mosquito collections were performed for about the next four decades, while human activities encroached on the forest. An updated mosquito collection finally took place in 2009 and 2010.[1]

The name Zika has been made notorious by the Zika virus, involved in a growing number of outbreaks around the globe from 2007 onwards.[6]


  1. ^ a b c d e Kaddumukasa, M. A.; Mutebi, J.-P.; Lutwama, J. J.; Masembe, C.; Akol, A. M. (26 December 2015). "Mosquitoes of Zika Forest, Uganda: Species Composition and Relative Abundance". Journal of Medical Entomology. 51 (1): 104–113. doi:10.1603/ME12269. ISSN 0022-2585. PMID 24605459.
  2. ^ a b "Resources and Facilities". Department of Entomology. Uganda Virus Research Institute. 4 February 2014. Retrieved 21 April 2016.
  3. ^ Hayes, Edward B. (September 2009). "Zika Virus Outside Africa". Emerging Infectious Diseases. 15 (9): 1347–1350. doi:10.3201/eid1509.090442. ISSN 1080-6040. PMC 2819875. PMID 19788800.
  4. ^ Dick, G. W. A.; Kitchen, S. F.; Haddow, A. J. (1 September 1952). "Zika Virus (I). Isolations and serological specificity". Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. 46 (5): 509–520. doi:10.1016/0035-9203(52)90042-4. ISSN 0035-9203. PMID 12995440.
  5. ^ Haddow, A. J.; Williams, M. C.; Woodall, J. P.; et al. (1964). "Twelve isolations of Zika virus from Aedes (Stegomyia) africanus (Theobald) taken in and above a Uganda forest". Bulletin of the World Health Organization. 31 (1): 57–69. PMC 2555143. PMID 14230895.
  6. ^ Sikka, Veronica; Chattu, Vijay Kumar; Popli, Raaj K.; Galwankar, Sagar C.; Kelkar, Dhanashree; Sawicki, Stanley G.; Stawicki, Stanislaw P.; Papadimos, Thomas J. (11 February 2016). "The emergence of zika virus as a global health security threat: A review and a consensus statement of the INDUSEM Joint working Group (JWG)". Journal of Global Infectious Diseases. 8 (1): 3–15. doi:10.4103/0974-777X.176140. ISSN 0974-8245. PMC 4785754. PMID 27013839.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 0°7′27″N 32°31′32″E / 0.12417°N 32.52556°E / 0.12417; 32.52556