How does Zika virus cause microcephaly?

Genes & Development
Zhexing WenGuo-Li Ming


The re-emergence of Zika virus (ZIKV), a mosquito-borne and sexually transmitted flavivirus circulating in >70 countries and territories, poses a significant global threat to public health due to its ability to cause severe developmental defects in the human brain, such as microcephaly. Since the World Health Organization declared the ZIKV outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern, remarkable progress has been made to gain insight into cellular targets, pathogenesis, and underlying biological mechanisms of ZIKV infection. Here we review the current knowledge and progress in understanding the impact of ZIKV exposure on the mammalian brain development and discuss potential underlying mechanisms.


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