Project Details

Early Career

Status: Funded - Open

Evaluation of infants with in-utero exposure to Zika virus in Brazil

Kristina Adachi, MD


BACKGROUND: Zika virus (ZIKV) is an emerging arbovirus infection that has raised global concern due to associations with congenital anomalies including microcephaly in infants when the infection is acquired in pregnancy.

GAP: Since ZIKV is an emerging infection, little is known about ZIKV pathogenesis and the extent of ZIKV-associated pathology among infants exposed to ZIKV in-utero.

HYPOTHESIS: We hypothesize that many infants exposed to ZIKV in-utero will also have ZIKV detectable from bodily fluids, particularly urine. ZIKV-infected infants with concurrent congenital infections will have more severe outcomes. ZIKV-infected infants will also have substantial adverse outcomes beyond that of microcephaly.

METHODS:  The study will be designed as a sub-study of a current, ongoing prospective study of pregnant women presenting for care for acute febrile, rash illness in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil that includes follow-up and evaluation of their infants. Our Specific Aims are as follows:
* Specific Aim 1. To determine detection rates of ZIKV in bodily fluids of ZIKV-exposed infants including PCR of serum, saliva, and urine.
* Specific Aim 2. To evaluate for concurrent congenital infections in infants with ZIKV infection including cytomegalovirus (CMV), Toxoplasma gondii, lymphocytic choriomeningitic virus (LCMV), rubella, Treponema pallidum (syphilis), HIV, dengue, and chikungunya.
* Specific Aim 3. To determine in the first month of life, overall health, growth and developmental outcomes of infants exposed to ZIKV in utero, including but not limited to concerns of microcephaly.

RESULTS: Pending.

IMPACT: The results of this project will help enhance our knowledge of this emerging infection. It will also underscore the importance of improving ZIKV prevention efforts and developing ZIKV treatment and comprehensive supportive care programs for affected infants.

Supervising Institution:
University of California, Los Angeles

Karin Nielsen-Saines

Project Location:
United States, Brazil

Award Amount: