Placenta More Vulnerable to Zika in Early Pregnancy

March 14, 2017

(SciDevNet) – The placenta — an organ responsible for carrying oxygen and nutrients from the mother to the foetus — is much more vulnerable to Zika infection in the first trimester of pregnancy, and this explains why the congenital damage caused by the virus is more serious in the early stages of a child’s prenatal development, according to a study. The researchers, who published their findings in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (February 13), used reprogrammed embryonic stem cells to reproduce cells of the human placenta in the first trimester of gestation.

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