Study identifies how infection by Zika virus during pregnancy can affect the fetal brain

From EurekAlert
September 3, 2020

Zika virus infection during pregnancy can cause severe abnormalities in the fetus, including malformations such as microcephaly. In a small proportion of cases, the disease may lead to miscarriage and perinatal death. A network of more than 30 Brazilian researchers set out to find the causes of these problems with the support of FAPESP and obtained important results after half a decade of hard work. A paper describing their findings has been published in the journal Science Signaling.

“We show for the first time what happens in the fetal brain affected by congenital Zika syndrome [CZS],” Helder Nakaya, who is the last author of the paper, told Agência FAPESP. Nakaya is a bioinformatics specialist, a professor at the University of São Paulo’s School of Pharmaceutical Sciences (FCF-USP), and a senior scientist at the Center for Research on Inflammatory Diseases (CRID), which is one of the Research, Innovation and Dissemination Centers (RIDCs) funded by FAPESP.

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