Antibody Protects Developing Fetus from Zika Virus, Study Shows

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Antibody Protects Developing Fetus from Zika Virus, Study Shows

Post  dirge on Sat Nov 12, 2016 4:05 pm

The most devastating consequence of Zika virus infection is the development of microcephaly, or an abnormally small head, in babies who were infected in utero. Now, researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and Vanderbilt University School of Medicine have identified a human antibody that prevents, in pregnant mice, the fetus from becoming infected with Zika and damage of the placenta. The antibody also protects adult mice from Zika disease.

“This is the first antiviral that has been shown to work in pregnancy to protect developing fetuses from Zika virus,” said Michael Diamond, MD, PhD, the Herbert S. Gasser Professor of Medicine and the study’s co-senior author. “This is proof of principle that Zika virus during pregnancy is treatable, and we already have a human antibody that treats it, at least in mice.”

The study is published Nov. 7 in Nature, as a fast-track advance online publication.


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