Long-term alterations in brain and behavior after postnatal Zika virus infections in infant macaques

Jessica Raper, Zsofia Kovacs-Balint, Maud Mavigner, Sanjeev Gumber, Mark W. Burke, Jakob Habib, Cameron Mattingly, Damien Fair, Eric Earl, Eric Feczko, Martin Styner, Sherrie M. Jean, Joyce K. Cohen, Mehul S. Suthar, Mar M. Sanchez, Maria C. Alvarado, Ann Chahroudi

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Dec 18, 2019
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Received Date: 11th December 19

Considering the impact that Zika virus (ZIKV) infection has on the fetal nervous system and given that the postnatal period is also a time of rapid brain growth, it is important to understand the potential neurobehavioral consequences of ZIKV infection during infancy. Postnatal ZIKV infection in a rhesus macaque (RM) model resulted in long-term behavioral, motor, and cognitive changes, including increased emotional reactivity, decreased social contact, loss of balance, and deficits in visual recognition memory at one year of age. Structural and functional MRI showed that ZIKV-infected infant RMs had persistent enlargement of lateral ventricles, smaller volumes and altered functional connectivity between brain areas important for socioemotional behavior, cognitive, and motor function (e.g. amygdala, hippocampus, cerebellum). Neuropathological changes corresponded with neuroimaging results and were consistent with the behavioral and memory deficits. Overall, this study demonstrates that postnatal ZIKV infection of infants in this model has long lasting neurodevelopmental consequences.

Read in full at bioRxiv.

This is an abstract of a preprint hosted on an independent third party site. It has not been peer reviewed but is currently under consideration at Nature Communications.

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