Monkey study at UW-Madison finds Zika infection lasts longer in pregnancy

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

WASHINGTON  — Researchers infected pregnant monkeys with the Zika virus to learn how it harms developing fetuses — and in a highly unusual twist, the public can get a real-time peek at the findings.

Among the first surprising results: While most people harbor Zika in their bloodstream for only a week or so after infection, the virus lingered in one pregnant monkey’s blood for 70 days and in another for 30 days.

There’s also a bit of good news. Tests with non-pregnant monkeys suggest one infection with Zika protects against a second bout later on.

Researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison are posting their raw data online right away so that normally competing research labs can work together to speed discoveries.

They published their findings Tuesday in Nature Communications.