Study tested on animals reveals Zika infection lasts longer in pregnancy

ASSOCIATED PRESS
WASHINGTON
Published 28.06.2016 18:09
Updated 28.06.2016 18:13
n this Jan. 27, 2016, file photo, an Aedes aegypti mosquito is photographed through a microscope at the Fiocruz institute in Recife, Pernambuco state, Brazil. (AP Photo)
n this Jan. 27, 2016, file photo, an Aedes aegypti mosquito is photographed through a microscope at the Fiocruz institute in Recife, Pernambuco state, Brazil. (AP Photo)

Researchers infected pregnant monkeys with the Zika virus to learn how it harms developing fetuses — and in a highly unusual twist, the public can get a real-time peek at the findings.

Among the first surprising results: While most people harbor Zika in their bloodstream for only a week or so after infection, the virus lingered in one pregnant monkey's blood for 70 days and in another for 30 days.

There's also a bit of good news. Tests with non-pregnant monkeys suggest one infection with Zika protects against a second bout later on.

Researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison are posting their raw data online right away so that normally competing research labs can work together to speed discoveries.

They published their findings Tuesday in Nature Communications.

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