Zika virus and reproduction: facts, questions and current management

Read the full review here  (Note this review is not open access.)

Further research to understand the sexual transmission of the Zika Virus (ZIKV) and its dissemination to genital systems would help to better anticipate and control outbreaks of potentially sexually transmissible infectious agents.

This systematic review aimed to summarise the most recent knowledge about ZIKV infection and pathogenesis. The review focussed on the impact on male and female genital tracts, including the risks of sexual transmission and to pregnancy. The consequences of ZIKV infection for pregnancy planning and ART are also discussed. This is a large review; the number of included studies was not reported and study quality was not considered. The authors presented a narrative review which included the following topics: 1) ZIKV in reproductive organs: genital shedding, sexual transmission and impact on fertility, 2) Impact of ZIKV infection on pregnancy and offspring (vertical transmission, including hypothesis for the mechanisms of mother-to-child transmission), 3) Current management in pregnancy planning and antiretroviral therapy in the context of ZIKV epidemics. In mice, ZIKV slows foetal growth and damages the foetal brain. In humans, ZIKV can cross the placental barrier and to induce foetal death and major anomalies. In addition to transmission by mosquitoes, ZIKV may be transmitted sexually. Current guidance on preventing the sexual transmission of ZIKV is based on assumptions that transmission occurs from a male partner to a receptive partner.

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