Researchers at the Slovenia’s University of Ljubljana and UKC Ljubljana hospital have proved a strong link between the Zika virus and microcephaly in foetuses after finding the virus inside the abnormally small brain of an aborted foetus.
Their findings are published in New England Journal of Medicine and are considered exceptionally important as the link between Zika and microcephaly had heretofore been suspected but not confirmed.
The team, from the University of Ljubljana’s Medical Faculty and two departments of UKC Ljubljana, thus confirmed that Zika can pass from an infected mother to the brains of the foetus, causing permanent damage.
The researchers performed autopsy on a foetus aborted in week 29 after a sonogram showed brain anomaly. The mother, a Slovenian woman who did volunteer work in Brazil, was infected with Zika at week 13.
The autopsy showed the presence of Zika in brain tissue but no traces of 13 other viruses that could potentially cause microcephaly. Source: University of Ljubljana