Pathology of congenital Zika syndrome in Brazil: a case series
Martines, Roosecelis Brasil. et al.
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Background Zika virus is an arthropod-borne virus that is a member of the family Flaviviridae transmitted mainly by mosquitoes of the genus Aedes. Although usually asymptomatic, infection can result in a mild and self-limiting illness characterised by fever, rash, arthralgia, and conjunctivitis. An increase in the number of children born with microcephaly was noted in 2015 in regions of Brazil with high transmission of Zika virus. More recently, evidence has been accumulating supporting a link between Zika virus and microcephaly. Here, we describe fi ndings from three fatal cases and two spontaneous abortions associated with Zika virus infection. Methods In this case series, formalin-fi xed paraffi n-embedded tissue samples from fi ve cases, including two newborn babies with microcephaly and severe arthrogryposis who died shortly after birth, one 2-month-old baby, and two placentas from spontaneous abortions, from Brazil were submitted to the Infectious Diseases Pathology Branch at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Atlanta, GA, USA) between December, 2015, and March, 2016. Specimens were assessed by histopathological examination, immunohistochemical assays using a mouse anti-Zika virus antibody, and RT-PCR assays targeting the NS5 and envelope genes. Amplicons of RT-PCR positive cases were sequenced for characterisation of strains.