For the first time in humans, Zika syndrome susceptibility linked to genetic background

ScienceDaily | 2/2/2018 | Staff
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The researchers, lead by dr. Mayana Zatz and Maria Rita Passos-Bueno -- geneticists from the Human Genome and Stem Cell Research Center from the University of São Paulo (USP) -, also concluded that a single gene cannot explain the cases of CSZ development nor the brain resistance to Zika virus.

About 6% to 12% of the babies born from mothers infected with the Zika virus during pregnancy will have the CZS. Why not all of them are affected by the syndrome is yet to be explained. This study shed lights on the genetic components associated to it.

Baby - Susceptibility - Factors - Microcephaly - Zika

"If the baby has these genetic susceptibility factors, we believe he will not have microcephaly unless he is infected by the Zika virus. Maybe we can identify these people and prioritize them in a future vaccine strategy," says dr. Mayana Zatz.

Twins provide unique information to answer whether a certain condition has an environmental or a genetic cause. If genetic factors are determinant to a congenital disease, there must be more concordance between the pair of identical (monozygotic) twin babies than between the non-identical or dizygotic twins. Identical siblings should be more often both affected, than dizygotic twins that will be more likely "discordant" (one affected and one non-affected).

Environment - Condition - Pattern - Siblings - Twins

If the environment leads to the condition, the pattern observed in the two siblings of non-identical will be the same as observed in identical twins. It means that either none of the siblings will be affected, or both, or just one of them, independently of being monozygotic or dizygotic.

The study started in 2016, during Zika epidemics in Brazil. Mayana Zatz and her team looked for twins in which at least one baby had microcephaly. They accomplished to get in touch with families from 9 pairs of twins from 6 Brazilian states.

Pairs - Twins

Two pairs were identical twins, with both affected;...
(Excerpt) Read more at: ScienceDaily
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