Health officials have said for some time now that they are confident that Zika causes the birth defect microcephaly . Precisely how the virus does that remains unclear. But studies published Wednesday add to the picture, showing how the virus can multiply in the placenta and reach the fetus.
In a study published in the journal Cell, researchers used mouse models to see how a Zika infection behaves during pregnancy. Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis found that the Zika virus enters a pregnant mouse’s bloodstream and reaches the placenta where it multiplies. It then spreads to the fetuses and infects the brain cells of the mouse’s fetuses.
In another study published in the journal Nature , researchers infected mice with Zika and found that the virus infected the fetuses and restricted growth. They also observed signs of microcephaly in the mice. In a third study published […]