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