Management of Zika virus in pregnancy: a review.Br Med Bull. 2017 Dec 01; 124(1):157-169.BM
Since 2015, an epidemic of Zika virus spread across the Americas. This coincided with an increased incidence of microcephaly reported at birth in Brazil, with subsequent evidence of a causal association.
Sources of data
Systemic reviews, observational studies, public health organizations.
Areas of agreement
Zika virus causes microcephaly and brain abnormalities in infants born to mothers infected during or shortly before pregnancy. Zika virus is a trigger for Guillain Barre Syndrome. Whilst mosquito bite is the main route of transmission, sexual transmission is another confirmed route.
Areas of controversy
Uncertainty remains regarding the proportion of Zika-infected pregnancies that will give rise to a significantly affected infant.
The development of a vaccine remains a priority whilst public health efforts continue to educate at risk populations on reducing transmission.
Areas timely for developing research
Follow-up studies of affected infants are vital to inform on prognosis and guide screening programmes of the future.