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About 5% of pregnant women with confirmed or suspected Zika virus infection gave birth to a child with an infection-related brain or eye defect, according to data from the US Zika Pregnancy and Infant Registry.
The registry was created to monitor effects of the 2015-2017 Zika virus outbreak in the US, its territories, and 3 Pacific nations classified as “freely associated states.” Among 6799 live births in the registry to mothers with laboratory evidence of confirmed or suspected Zika virus infection between December 2015 and March 2018, 315 infants had at least 1 Zika-related birth defect. In a subgroup of women with a positive nucleic acid amplification test during pregnancy, 138 of 2257 infants had a Zika-related birth defect.
The birth defects were more common when mothers’ infections occurred earlier during pregnancy. Eight percent of infants born to women with first trimester infections had a birth defect compared with 6% of infants born to women with second trimester infections and 3.8% of those with third trimester infections. Among 325 pregnancy losses reported in the registry, 13 fetuses had Zika-related birth defects, all of which involved the brain.
Birth defects reported most frequently were microcephaly; corpus callosum abnormalities; intracranial calcification; abnormal cortical gyral patterns; ventriculomegaly; cerebral or cortical atrophy; atrophy, scarring, or pigment changes in the choroid or retina of the eye; or optic nerve abnormalities. Investigators continue to monitor children in the registry for signs of neurological problems or developmental delays. Surveillance for Zika-associated birth defects may help identify more infants affected by prenatal infections and help detect any reemergence of Zika virus in the US, the authors suggest.
Créditos: Comité científico Covid