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Title: Assessing the Utility of Antivirals for Preventing Maternal-Fetal Transmission of Zika Virus in pregnant mice
Chan Wing Ki Kitti 
Vasudevan, S.G. 
Keywords: Antivirals; NITD008; Pregnant mouse model; Vertical transmission; Zika virus.
Issue Date: 7-May-2019
Citation: SATORU WATANABE, TAN WEI WEN, Chan Wing Ki Kitti, Vasudevan, S.G. (2019-05-07). Assessing the Utility of Antivirals for Preventing Maternal-Fetal Transmission of Zika Virus in pregnant mice. Antiviral Research 167 : 104-109. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: Zika virus (ZIKV) infection during pregnancy has been associated with adverse outcomes and birth defects such as microcephaly in newborn children. Congenital malformations associated with ZIKV are believed to occur via direct infection of the fetus. Unfortunately, there are no licensed therapeutic or preventative tools to block maternal-fetal transmission of ZIKV. In this study, we developed a mouse model of ZIKV infection that specifically establishes vertical maternal-fetal transmission of ZIKV in 40-60% of fetuses when the dams acquire ZIKV infection during pregnancy. This mouse model somewhat mirrors the experience in humans at the peak of the epidemic in the Americas. Using this model, we demonstrate that a well-documented directly acting antiviral (DAA) compound that targets flaviviral RNA synthesis can completely prevent fetal infection when the treatment is started at the time of infection. Notably, we show that the treatment commenced at the time of peak viremia is still able to reduce the risk of fetal infection concomitant with significant reduction in placental viral load. Our results show for the first time the potential for clinical development of antiviral drugs for preventing vertical maternal-fetal transmission of ZIKV.
Source Title: Antiviral Research
ISSN: 0166-3542
DOI: 10.1016/j.antiviral.2019.04.013
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