The role of the placenta in prenatally acquired Zika virus infection

Virusdisease. 2017 Sep;28(3):247-249. doi: 10.1007/s13337-017-0399-z. Epub 2017 Sep 20.


Zika virus (ZIKV) is an arthropod-borne arbovirus from the family Flaviviridae, which has been recently confirmed to cause severe neurological abnormalities (such as microcephaly, brain parenchymal calcification, hydrocephalus, and malformations of cortical development) in the infected fetuses. The Placenta plays a multifold role in prenatally acquired ZIKV infection. It serves as a port of virus transmission to the fetus, and also can be directly affected by ZIKV leading to a diminished fetal blood supply or a disrupted/changed biological mediators' synthesis. It is crucial to have a detailed knowledge about these pathomechanisms for preventing virus transmission in the infected pregnant women, as well as for prohibiting or reversing placental changes.

Keywords: Microcephaly; Placenta; Vertical transmission; ZIKV; Zika virus.

Publication types

  • Editorial