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Study Tracks Outcomes in Children Born to Zika Virus-Infected Mothers

In Lancet Regional Health – Americas, members of the Zika Brazilian Cohorts Consortium present findings from a meta-analysis focused on offspring from pregnant women infected with the Zika virus (ZIKV) during an epidemic in Brazil from 2015 to 2017. Using data for 1,548 women with RT-PCR-verified ZIKV infections, the team saw miscarriage in 0.9 percent of pregnancies and stillbirth in another 0.3 percent of pregnancies. For infants born live, meanwhile, the researchers identified microcephaly in 4 percent of offspring. Still other children born to ZIKV-infected mothers had neurological, auditory, ophthalmic, and other abnormalities, they report, though just 1 percent had multiple abnormalities. "Our findings suggest that approximately one-third of the children born to ZIKV-positive pregnant women present with at least one abnormality compatible with congenital infection," the authors report, noting that "congenital abnormalities are more likely to present in isolation than in combination."

The Scan

Positive Framing of Genetic Studies Can Spark Mistrust Among Underrepresented Groups

Researchers in Human Genetics and Genomics Advances report that how researchers describe genomic studies may alienate potential participants.

Small Study of Gene Editing to Treat Sickle Cell Disease

In a Novartis-sponsored study in the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers found that a CRISPR-Cas9-based treatment targeting promoters of genes encoding fetal hemoglobin could reduce disease symptoms.

Gut Microbiome Changes Appear in Infants Before They Develop Eczema, Study Finds

Researchers report in mSystems that infants experienced an enrichment in Clostridium sensu stricto 1 and Finegoldia and a depletion of Bacteroides before developing eczema.

Acute Myeloid Leukemia Treatment Specificity Enhanced With Stem Cell Editing

A study in Nature suggests epitope editing in donor stem cells prior to bone marrow transplants can stave off toxicity when targeting acute myeloid leukemia with immunotherapy.