December 10, 2020
The Zika virus can remain in mouse brain for extended periods, leading to long-term neurological and behavioral consequences, according to a study published December 10 in the open-access journal PLOS Pathogens by Daniela Verthelyi of the US Food and Drug Administration, and colleagues.
Infections in the perinatal period are associated with lasting cognitive impairment and increased risk for psychological disorders. The congenital brain malformations associated with Zika virus infections early in pregnancy are well documented. But the potential defects and long-term consequences associated with milder infections in late pregnancy and the perinatal period are less well understood. To address this knowledge gap, Verthelyi and colleagues exposed one-day-old mice to the Zika virus and monitored the neurological and behavioral consequences up to one year later.