US researchers believe they have discovered the mechanism by which virus hinders brain development in fetuses. According to the new findings, the virus targets the outer layer of fetal brain cells, killing some cells while it prevents others to form new cells.
This goes a long way in explaining the reported increase of microcephaly in Brazil. Scientists suspected the Zika virus as the cause of a surge in microcephaly cases in Brazil when maternity wards in began reporting an increasing number of the disorder.
Researchers are hoping to build on this work and think the study will help in understanding how microcephaly develops.