Publications and Research

Document Type


Publication Date

Winter 1-22-2019


Although the World Health Organization declared an end to the recent Zika virus (ZIKV) outbreak and its association with adverse fetal and pediatric outcome, on November 18, 2016, the virus still remains a severe public health threat. Laboratory experiments thus far supported the suspicions that ZIKV is a teratogenic agent. Evidence indicated that ZIKV infection cripples the host cells' innate immune responses, allowing productive replication and potential dissemination of the virus. In addition, studies suggest potential transplacental passage of the virus and subsequent selective targeting of neural progenitor cells (NPCs). Depletion of NPCs by ZIKV is associated with restricted brain growth. And while microcephaly can result from infection at any gestational stages, the risk is greater during the first trimester. Although a number of recent studies revealed some of specific molecular and cellular roles of ZIKV proteins of this mosquito-borne flavivirus, the mechanisms by which it produces it suspected pathophysiological effects are not completely understood. Thus, this review highlights the cellular and molecular evidence that implicate ZIKV in fetal and pediatric neuropathologies.

Available for download on Monday, September 07, 2020