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A Possible Alternate Explanation for Zika Virus Microcephaly in Brazil

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As of early August 2016, 8,80 I cases of microcephaly had been reported in Brazil, only 1,773 of which had been directly linked to the Zika virus. Given this discrepancy, lack of direct causal experimental evidence linking Zika virus and microcephaly, and lack of evidence of microcephaly in previous Zika outbreaks, multiple hypotheses have been proposed to explain the 2015-2016 epidemic ofmicrocephaly in Brazil. Nogeuira et al. 2016, using shotgun mass spectrometry proteomics, isolated and identified several Bovine Viral Diarrhea Virus (BVDV) proteins from several microcephalic human infant brains, from which no Zika virus proteins were identified. BVDV, a highly prevalent disease of even-toed ungulates, has been shown to induce antibodies in humans, but never actual disease. BVDV is also a common laboratory contaminant, and was probably a contamination in this experiment. BVDV is currently not implicated to affect human health, and no further risk evaluation is necessary at this time.

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2016-10-12

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Zika Virus, Bovine Viral Diarrhea Virus, Brazil, Microcephaly

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case study

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