Friday, April 28, 2017
Zika virus persists in the central nervous system and lymph nodes of rhesus monkeys.
The Zika virus persists in the central nervous system and lymph nodes of rhesus monkeys as the virus was seen in tissue weeks after it cleared from blood. A study published online in Cell,reveals that Zika virus can persist in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), lymph nodes and colorectal tissue of infected rhesus monkeys for weeks after the virus has been cleared from blood, urine and mucosal secretions. The researchers infected 20 rhesus monkeys with Zika virus and noted that although virus was cleared from peripheral blood within 7-10 days, it was detected in CSF for up to 42 days and in lymph nodes and colorectal tissue for up to 72 days. Immunologic data showed that the emergence of Zika virus-specific neutralizing antibodies correlated with the rapid control of the virus in plasma. However, Zika-specific antibodies were not detected in CSF, which could be why the virus remained there longer. These findings suggest that persistent virus in the central nervous system may contribute to the neurological issues associated with Zika virus infection in people.