Research press release


Nature Medicine

Zika virus infection in a pregnant nonhuman primate


ZIKV感染をもっと忠実に再現できる動物モデルの開発を試みているK A Waldorf、M Gale Jr.、L Rajagopalたちは、妊娠第三期のブタオザルにZIKVを感染させた。妊娠中のブタオザルには発疹や発熱といった病気の兆候は見られなかったが、感染10日後までに胎児に脳の異常が生じ、脳の発達遅延の証拠が認められた。一方、対照の胎児には異常は見られなかった。この結果は1頭の動物だけで観察された限定的なものだが、著者たちはブタオザルがヒトのZIKV感染の経過研究や、治療法やワクチン候補の検証に役立つ動物モデルになるのではないかと考えている。

Brain lesions in the fetus of one pregnant pigtailed macaque infected with the Zika virus (ZIKV) are reported in a paper published online in Nature Medicine this week. The findings represent the first case of fetal brain injury in a nonhuman primate infected with ZIKV.

Previous research has established a nonhuman primate model of ZIKV infection; however, the brain abnormalities observed in the fetuses of infected pregnant women, such as microcephaly, have not yet been reported in animal models of ZIKV infection.

In an effort to develop a more representative animal model of ZIKV infection, Kristina Adams Waldorf, Michael Gale Jr., Lakshmi Rajagopal and colleagues infected a pigtailed macaque with ZIKV during the third trimester of pregnancy. Although the pregnant animal did not show signs of disease, such as rash or fever, the fetus developed brain abnormalities (which were not seen in a control fetus) within 10 days of infection and showed evidence of slower brain growth. Although the results are limited to one animal, the authors suggest that the pigtailed macaque may be a useful model for studying the progression of ZIKV infection in humans and testing candidate therapeutics or vaccines.

doi: 10.1038/nm.4193


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