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Research provides clues to how Zika virus breaches the placental barrier

Date:
September 15, 2016
Source:
Wiley
Summary:
New research reveals that in pregnant women, Zika virus infection damages certain cells that affect placental formation and function. Furthermore, herpes simplex virus-2 (HSV-2) infection augments placental sensitivity to Zika virus by enhancing the expression of receptors that allow Zika virus to enter cells.
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New research reveals that in pregnant women, Zika virus infection damages certain cells that affect placental formation and function. Furthermore, herpes simplex virus-2 (HSV-2) infection augments placental sensitivity to Zika virus by enhancing the expression of receptors that allow Zika virus to enter cells.

The findings may help explain the mechanism by which Zika virus breaches the placental barrier to access the fetus. They also suggest that fetuses in pregnant women with HSV-2 infection are at a higher risk for microcephaly and other effects caused by Zika virus.

"Investigators in Brazil have suspected that something more than Zika virus is causing the high intensity and severity of cases. Our study suggests that the immune response to an early infection, HSV-2, may be the additional factor that increases the risk for severity of Zika virus-induced disease," said Dr. Gil Mor, senior author of the American Journal of Reproductive Immunology study.


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Materials provided by Wiley. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Paulomi Aldo, Yuan You, Klara Szigeti, Tamas L Horvath, Brett Lindenbach, Gil Mor. HSV-2 enhances ZIKV infection of the placenta and induces apoptosis in first-trimester trophoblast cells. American Journal of Reproductive Immunology, 2016; DOI: 10.1111/aji.12578

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Wiley. "Research provides clues to how Zika virus breaches the placental barrier." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 September 2016. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/09/160915085715.htm>.
Wiley. (2016, September 15). Research provides clues to how Zika virus breaches the placental barrier. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 30, 2017 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/09/160915085715.htm
Wiley. "Research provides clues to how Zika virus breaches the placental barrier." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/09/160915085715.htm (accessed March 30, 2017).