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Zika infection damages mouse testes, NIAID-Supported study finds

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  • Zika infection damages mouse testes, NIAID-Supported study finds

    New research in male mice has revealed that Zika virus infection can break down and severely damage the animals' testes. Whether these findings have any bearing on the potential impact of the virus on the reproductive health of infected men is unclear; however, the study findings suggest this is an important question to explore. Results from the study, conducted by researchers at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, appear in Nature online October 31. The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), supported the research.
    Although Zika virus is largely transmitted to people via mosquito bites, the virus can also be sexually transmitted from person to person and through blood transfusion. Although it can be found in the semen of infected men, the impact of Zika on the human male reproductive system is largely unknown. To investigate further, the scientists infected male mice with a mouse-adapted African or Asian Zika virus strain, or with the related dengue virus. Every seven days, the researchers stained and visually examined samples of mouse testes to look for damage and tested cells from those organs for evidence of the virus.

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    The original article