Thursday, May 26, 2016

NEJM: Zika Virus And The Risk Of Microcephaly


While the link between maternal Zika virus infection and an increase in congenital defects - such as microcephaly - is pretty well accepted, unknown at this time is just how big a risk that really is.

We've only seen two studies on point, and they provided two very different results.

Today the NEJM carries a perspective - based on an analysis of Zika outbreaks in Bahia, Brazil -  that attempts to quantify the risks based on the limited information available. 

But based on what they know right now, these researchers found a `strong association between the risk of microcephaly and infection risk in the first trimester and a negligible association in the second and third trimesters'.

Then, depending upon which set of assumptions they used (to fill in the missing data gaps) - they came up with a range of risk that ran between .88% and 13.2% - of  1st trimester Zika infection resulting in a microcephalic birth.

Since there are still major gaps in the data, and microcephaly is but one possible `grave outcome', these results need to be taken in context. 

Follow the link to read the full report:


Zika and the Risk of Microcephaly 
Michael A. Johansson, Ph.D., Luis Mier-y-Teran-Romero, Ph.D., Jennita Reefhuis, Ph.D., Suzanne M. Gilboa, Ph.D., and Susan L. Hills, M.B., B.S.

May 25, 2016DOI: 10.1056/NEJMp1605367

No comments: