Research ArticleZIKA

Acute and chronic neurological consequences of early-life Zika virus infection in mice

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Science Translational Medicine  06 Jun 2018:
Vol. 10, Issue 444, eaar2749
DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aar2749

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Zika leaves lasting impact on brain

Perinatal Zika virus (ZIKV) infection has been associated with brain alterations in newborns. However, whether ZIKV exposure during development has long-term neurological consequences is not completely understood. Nem de Oliveira Souza et al. report that newborn mice infected with ZIKV develop acute brain abnormalities. During adulthood, perinatally infected mice showed persistent viral replication, neuropathological alterations, behavioral impairments, and altered brain excitability. Blocking tumor necrosis factor–α (TNF-α) early after infection prevented this hyperexcitability in mouse brain. The results suggest that anti-inflammatory treatments might be used to prevent the persistent increase in neuronal excitability induced by ZIKV infection in brain tissue.