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Zika virus persists in the central nervous system and lymph nodes of rhesus monkeys

Virus found in tissues weeks after clearance from blood

Date:
April 28, 2017
Source:
NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
Summary:
Zika virus can persist in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), lymph nodes and colorectal tissue of infected rhesus monkeys for weeks after the virus has been cleared from blood, urine and mucosal secretions, according to a study.
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Zika virus can persist in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), lymph nodes and colorectal tissue of infected rhesus monkeys for weeks after the virus has been cleared from blood, urine and mucosal secretions, according to a study published online in Cell. The research was led by Dan H. Barouch, M.D., Ph.D., and colleagues at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School and was funded in part by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Investigators infected 20 rhesus monkeys with Zika virus and noted that although virus was cleared from peripheral blood within 7-10 days, it was detected in CSF for up to 42 days and in lymph nodes and colorectal tissue for up to 72 days. Immunologic data showed that the emergence of Zika virus-specific neutralizing antibodies correlated with the rapid control of the virus in plasma. However, Zika-specific antibodies were not detected in CSF, which could be why the virus remained there longer. The authors also found that viral persistence in CSF correlated with the activation of the mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR) pathway, which has been shown to be related to the development of brain tissue and brain malformations.

The findings suggest that persistent virus in the central nervous system may contribute to the neurological issues associated with Zika virus infection in people, the authors note. Although Zika virus usually causes mild or no symptoms in people, it has been associated with neurological disorders in children and adults and can cause severe fetal defects, such as microcephaly, if an infected pregnant woman passes the virus to her fetus. The authors note that if the virus can persist in the central nervous system and other tissues in humans with Zika infection, more extensive neurologic and lymphoid disease than currently appreciated may be occurring.


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Materials provided by NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Malika Aid, Peter Abbink, Rafael A. Larocca, Michael Boyd, Ramya Nityanandam, Ovini Nanayakkara, Amanda J. Martinot, Edward T. Moseley, Eryn Blass, Erica N. Borducchi, Abishek Chandrashekar, Amanda L. Brinkman, Katherine Molloy, David Jetton, Lawrence J. Tartaglia, Jinyan Liu, Katharine Best, Alan S. Perelson, Rafael A. De La Barrera, Mark G. Lewis, Dan H. Barouch. Zika Virus Persistence in the Central Nervous System and Lymph Nodes of Rhesus Monkeys. Cell, 2017; DOI: 10.1016/j.cell.2017.04.008

Cite This Page:

NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. "Zika virus persists in the central nervous system and lymph nodes of rhesus monkeys: Virus found in tissues weeks after clearance from blood." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 April 2017. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/04/170428121652.htm>.
NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. (2017, April 28). Zika virus persists in the central nervous system and lymph nodes of rhesus monkeys: Virus found in tissues weeks after clearance from blood. ScienceDaily. Retrieved May 26, 2017 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/04/170428121652.htm
NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. "Zika virus persists in the central nervous system and lymph nodes of rhesus monkeys: Virus found in tissues weeks after clearance from blood." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/04/170428121652.htm (accessed May 26, 2017).

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