Zika virus (ZIKV) is an emerging pathogen with global health and economic impacts. ZIKV circulates as two major lineages, Asian or African. The Asian lineage has recently been associated with significant disease in humans. Numerous studies have revealed differences between African and Asian ZIKV strains with respect to cellular infectivity, pathogenesis, and immune activation. Less is known about the mechanism of ZIKV entry and whether viral entry differs between strains. Here, we characterized ZIKV entry with two Asian and two African strains. All viruses exhibited a requirement for clathrin-mediated endocytosis and Rab5a function. Additionally, all ZIKV strains tested were sensitive to pH in the range of 6.5–6.1 and were reliant on endosomal acidification for infection. Finally, we provide direct evidence that ZIKV primarily fuses with late endosomes. These findings contribute new insight into the ZIKV entry process and suggest that divergent ZIKV strains enter cells in a highly conserved manner.
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