Research, using lab mice, has shown for the first time that the mosquito-borne Zika virus may damage adult brain cells, not just developing foetuses. The findings of the study were released yesterday in the journal- Cell Stem Cell.
Co-author Professor Sujan Shrest said adult cells involved in learning and memory can be destroyed by the infection, which is also blamed for a surge in the birth defect microcephaly. Dr Shrest said researchers know that Zika can be catastrophic for early brain development, but often adults who are infected show no symptoms.
Dr Shrest said the emergence of Guillain-Barre, which usually develops after Zika has cleared, could be linked to the infection of adult cells. But more research is needed as the mice model of Zika infection may not reflect how the virus acts on humans.
Last modified onFriday, 19 August 2016 10:41
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