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Zika Microcephaly Risk Linked to Mothers Antibodies

August 14, 2019 / GEN

For pregnant women, Zika virus infections are incredibly worrisome due to the virus ability to cause a wide range of fetal abnormalities, with microcephaly occurring in around 5 Percent of live births by Zika-infected mothers. But, the underlying cause of the congenital abnormalities has remained unknown. Now, an international team of researchers has linked the risk of microcephaly to features of maternal antibodies, pointing a direction for future studies into why a Zika infection results in birth defects in some babies but not others. “Why some Zika virus-infected pregnant women deliver apparently healthy newborns while others have babies with microcephaly is unknown,” says Davide F. Robbiani, MD, PhD, a research associate professor at the Rockefeller University and first author on the paper. This question came to the forefront of researchers’ priorities after the widespread Zika outbreak in Brazil in 2015–2016. Factors that have been proposed to increase the ...