Researchers from Brazil and the United States will monitor 10,000 pregnant women in locations affected with Zika virus to investigate the health risks posed by the virus. The study, a collaboration between Brazil's Fundação Oswaldo Cruz (FIOCRUZ) and the United States Department of Health and Human Services, aims to compare the outcomes of pregnancy in Zika-infected and uninfected mothers and the development of the baby.
The purpose of the Zika in Infants and Pregnancy (ZIP) study is to determine if the women become infected with Zika during pregnancy, and if so, establish the consequences for the fetus. Miscarriage, premature birth, microcephaly, nervous system malformations, and other problems or complications of or during pregnancy will be documented as part of the study.
The study focuses on women aged 15 years or older in the first three months of pregnancy, who have not had Zika. It is opening in Puerto Rico, and is expected to begin in July–August in Brazil. Of the 10,000 women to be monitored by researchers, 4,000 will consist of Brazilian women living in Rio de Janeiro, Salvador, Recife and Ribeirão Preto.
The researchers will also compare the risk of pregnancy complications for women who have had symptoms of Zika infection and those infected but with no symptoms, and examine the changes in the embryo and fetus, how other (including social and environmental) factors can interfere with the disease, and the implications of other infections, such as a history of dengue.
Translated by Mayra Borges
Fonte: Agência Brasil.