Zika virus impairs growth in human neurospheres and brain organoids
Garcez, Patricia P.
Loiola, Erick Correia
Costa, Rodrigo Madeiro da
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The pernicious and resilient Aedes mosquito is rapidly spreading Zika virus (ZIKV) through the Americas. ZIKV infection mostly causes mild disease, but in some patients, nervous system involvement is indicated. A particular worry is an observed correlation between infection of mothers in the first trimester of pregnancy and microcephaly in newborns. Garcez et al. tested the effects of ZIKV compared with dengue virus infection on human neural stem cells grown as organoids. ZIKV targeted the human brain cells, reduced their size and viability in vitro, and caused programmed cell death responses.