Researchers at Emory University decided to test out what are the effects of contracting the Zika virus after birth on infant macaques. What they found out was very interesting. They saw that the Zika virus disappeared from their bodies as the monkeys’ bodies cleared the infection but they saw that these monkeys developed some behavioral problems and that they even experienced brain damage.
More about this study
The senior author of this study, Ann Chahroudi, had a number of things to say about this study. She stated that if monkeys experience these then human infants that may have gone through a similar process may suffer from conditions just as worse.
On one hand, the monkeys exposed during this experiment did not suffer to the extent that prenatal infants did, having limb deformities or hearing or vision loss but, on the other hand, they saw that parts of the monkeys’ brains responsible for hearing and seeing did not develop as well as they should have. The animals in the controlled test acted strangely when compared to animals that were not tested on.
Moreover, the monkeys looked to stop responding as they should have had to stimuli that alerted them that they were threatened. They seemed to not process the information that well.
The study performed this experiment on 8 monkeys. Out of them 2 were not experimented on since they were the control group but the remaining six did receive one single shot of the ZIka strain. Four of the injected monkeys were euthanized so that their tissues could be analyzed but the last two injected monkeys grew up to be one year old.
This study is a first sign that would let doctors alert parents that they should not bring their children to an area that is known to be infected with the Zika virus since they may come in contact with it and later on develop some form of neural problems later on in their lives.