May 12, 2016
(Science) – New animal models are now pointing to answers. Pregnant monkeys are showing hints of fetal damage. But the most dramatic results come from mice. Mouse studies published this week in Cell and its sister journal Cell Stem Cell and in Nature show precisely how the virus slows fetal growth, damages the brain, and leads to miscarriage. Two of them also prove for the first time in an animal model that Zika virus can cause microcephaly in fetuses. Together, the findings indicate that the virus by itself can wreak havoc, says Michael Diamond, a viral immunologist at Washington University in St. Louis in Missouri who led the Cell study.
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