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      Zika Virus Infection at Different Pregnancy Stages: Anatomopathological Findings, Target Cells and Viral Persistence in Placental Tissues

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          Zika virus (ZIKV) infection in humans has been associated with congenital malformations and other neurological disorders, such as Guillain-Barré syndrome. The mechanism(s) of ZIKV intrauterine transmission, the cell types involved, the most vulnerable period of pregnancy for severe outcomes from infection and other physiopathological aspects are not completely elucidated. In this study, we analyzed placental samples obtained at the time of delivery from a group of 24 women diagnosed with ZIKV infection during the first, second or third trimesters of pregnancy. Villous immaturity was the main histological finding in the placental tissues, although placentas without alterations were also frequently observed. Significant enhancement of the number of syncytial sprouts was observed in the placentas of women infected during the third trimester, indicating the development of placental abnormalities after ZIKV infection. Hyperplasia of Hofbauer cells (HCs) was also observed in these third-trimester placental tissues, and remarkably, HCs were the only ZIKV-positive fetal cells found in the placentas studied that persisted until birth, as revealed by immunohistochemical (IHC) analysis. Thirty-three percent of women infected during pregnancy delivered infants with congenital abnormalities, although no pattern correlating the gestational stage at infection, the IHC positivity of HCs in placental tissues and the presence of congenital malformations at birth was observed. Placental tissue analysis enabled us to confirm maternal ZIKV infection in cases where serum from the acute infection phase was not available, which reinforces the importance of this technique in identifying possible causal factors of birth defects. The results we observed in the samples from naturally infected pregnant women may contribute to the understanding of some aspects of the pathophysiology of ZIKV.

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          Most cited references 23

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          First report of autochthonous transmission of Zika virus in Brazil

          In the early 2015, several cases of patients presenting symptoms of mild fever, rash, conjunctivitis and arthralgia were reported in the northeastern Brazil. Although all patients lived in a dengue endemic area, molecular and serological diagnosis for dengue resulted negative. Chikungunya virus infection was also discarded. Subsequently, Zika virus (ZIKV) was detected by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction from the sera of eight patients and the result was confirmed by DNA sequencing. Phylogenetic analysis suggests that the ZIKV identified belongs to the Asian clade. This is the first report of ZIKV infection in Brazil.
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            Serotype-specific detection of dengue viruses in a fourplex real-time reverse transcriptase PCR assay.

            The dengue (DEN) viruses are positive-strand RNA viruses in the genus Flavivirus. Dengue fever and dengue hemorrhagic fever/dengue shock syndrome are important human arboviral diseases caused by infection with one of four closely related but serologically distinct DEN viruses, designated DEN-1, DEN-2, DEN-3, and DEN-4 viruses. All four DEN serotypes are currently co-circulating throughout the subtropics and tropics, and genotypic variation occurs among isolates within a serotype. A real-time quantitative nucleic acid amplification assay has been developed to detect viral RNA of a single DEN virus serotype. Each primer-probe set is DEN serotype specific, yet detects all genotypes in a panel of 7 to 10 representative isolates of a serotype. In single reactions and in fourplex reactions (containing four primer-probe sets in a single reaction mixture), standard dilutions of virus equivalent to 0.002 PFU of DEN-2, DEN-3, and DEN-4 viruses were detected; the limit of detection of DEN-1 virus was 0.5 equivalent PFU. Singleplex and fourplex reactions were evaluated in a panel of 40 viremic serum specimens with 10 specimens per serotype, containing 0.002 to 6,000 equivalent PFU/reaction (0.4 to 1.2 x 10(6) PFU/ml). Viral RNA was detected in all viremic serum specimens in singleplex and fourplex reactions. Thus, this serotype-specific, fourplex real-time reverse transcriptase PCR nucleic acid detection assay can be used as a method for differential diagnosis of a specific DEN serotype in viremic dengue patients and as a tool for rapid identification and serotyping of DEN virus isolates.
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              Congenital Zika Virus Infection: Beyond Neonatal Microcephaly.

              Recent studies have reported an increase in the number of fetuses and neonates with microcephaly whose mothers were infected with the Zika virus (ZIKV) during pregnancy. To our knowledge, most reports to date have focused on select aspects of the maternal or fetal infection and fetal effects.

                Author and article information

                Front Microbiol
                Front Microbiol
                Front. Microbiol.
                Frontiers in Microbiology
                Frontiers Media S.A.
                25 September 2018
                : 9
                1Laboratório de Patologia Experimental, Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Paraná , Curitiba, Brazil
                2Laboratório de Virologia Molecular, Instituto Carlos Chagas, Fundação Oswaldo Cruz , Curitiba, Brazil
                3Secretaria da Saúde do Estado do Paraná , Curitiba, Brazil
                4Laboratório Central do Estado do Paraná , Curitiba, Brazil
                Author notes

                Edited by: Francois Villinger, University of Louisiana at Lafayette, United States

                Reviewed by: Sanjeev Gumber, Emory University, United States; Jose Luiz Proenca-Modena, Universidade Estadual de Campinas, Brazil

                *Correspondence: Lucia de Noronha lnno.noronha@
                Claudia Nunes Duarte dos Santos claudia.dossantos@

                This article was submitted to Virology, a section of the journal Frontiers in Microbiology

                †These authors have contributed equally to this work

                Copyright © 2018 Noronha, Zanluca, Burger, Suzukawa, Azevedo, Rebutini, Novadzki, Tanabe, Presibella and Duarte dos Santos.

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

                Page count
                Figures: 3, Tables: 2, Equations: 0, References: 35, Pages: 11, Words: 6953
                Original Research


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