Project Details

Early Career

Status: Funded - Open

Neurologic outcome of apparently normal newborns from Zika virus positive pregnancies

Sarah Mulkey, MD, PhD


BACKGROUND: Zika (ZIKV) infection in pregnancy can result in a range of neurologic disease severity in exposed fetuses.  Fetuses exposed to Zika infection that do not develop overt brain abnormalities by birth, may still be at risk for postnatal microcephaly and neurologic sequelae.

GAP: We will determine if normal neuroimaging in the third trimester fetus exposed to ZIKV infection is associated with normal neurodevelopment in infancy and assess for MRI markers for neurologic outcome.

HYPOTHESIS: Our overarching hypothesis is that infants with Zika exposure in utero and that have normal fetal brain MRI and normal fetal head size will be at significant risk for abnormal neurodevelopment in infancy.

METHODS: We will perform a longitudinal study of neurodevelopmental outcome through the first year of life in approximately 70 infants that had normal fetal brain MRI and normal head size at birth, but in whose mothers had ZIKV infection in pregnancy (of 80 fetuses enrolled in an ongoing fetal brain MRI study [12% abnormal fetal MRI rate]).  Infants will be enrolled from Barranquilla, Colombia and Washington, DC, USA.  Infants will have quantitative brain MRI in the neonatal period and neurodevelopmental assessments at 6 and 12 months of age using the Warner Initial Developmental Evaluation of Adaptive and Functional Skills and the Alberta Infant Motor Scale.

RESULTS: Pending

IMPACT: This study will inform optimal anticipatory management of infants exposed to Zika virus in utero that seem neurologically normal at birth, filling a critical knowledge gap in this new and potentially devastating scourge.
Website Link: http://childrensnational.org/departments/zika-program

Supervising Institution:
Children's National Medical Center

Adre du Plessis

Project Location:
United States, Colombia

Award Amount: