Consellho Nacional de Desenvolvimento e Pesquisa (CNPq), Fundação de Amparo a Pesquisa do Estado do Rio de Janeiro (FAPERJ).
Purpose To document the imaging findings associated with congenital Zika virus infection as found in the Instituto de Pesquisa in Campina Grande State Paraiba (IPESQ) in northeastern Brazil, where the congenital infection has been particularly severe. Materials and Methods From June 2015 to May 2016, 438 patients were referred to the IPESQ for rash occurring during pregnancy or for suspected fetal central nervous system abnormality. Patients who underwent imaging at IPESQ were included, as well as those with documented Zika virus infection in fluid or tissue (n = 17, confirmed infection cohort) or those with brain findings suspicious for Zika virus infection, with intracranial calcifications (n = 28, presumed infection cohort). Imaging examinations included 12 fetal magnetic resonance (MR) examinations, 42 postnatal brain computed tomographic examinations, and 11 postnatal brain MR examinations. Images were reviewed by four radiologists, with final opinion achieved by means of consensus. Results Brain abnormalities seen in confirmed (n = 17) and presumed (n = 28) congenital Zika virus infections were similar, with ventriculomegaly in 16 of 17 (94%) and 27 of 28 (96%) infections, respectively; abnormalities of the corpus callosum in 16 of 17 (94%) and 22 of 28 (78%) infections, respectively; and cortical migrational abnormalities in 16 of 17 (94%) and 28 of 28 (100%) infections, respectively. Although most fetuses underwent at least one examination that showed head circumference below the 5th percentile, head circumference could be normal in the presence of severe ventriculomegaly (seen in three fetuses). Intracranial calcifications were most commonly seen at the gray matter-white matter junction, in 15 of 17 (88%) and 28 of 28 (100%) confirmed and presumed infections, respectively. The basal ganglia and/or thalamus were also commonly involved with calcifications in 11 of 17 (65%) and 18 of 28 (64%) infections, respectively. The skull frequently had a collapsed appearance with overlapping sutures and redundant skin folds and, occasionally, intracranial herniation of orbital fat and clot in the confluence of sinuses. Conclusion The spectrum of findings associated with congenital Zika virus infection in the IPESQ in northeastern Brazil is illustrated to aid the radiologist in identifying Zika virus infection at imaging. (©) RSNA, 2016 Online supplemental material is available for this article.
IMPORTANCE Recent studies have reported an increase in the number of fetuses and neonates with microcephaly whose mothers were infected with the Zika virus (ZIKV) during pregnancy. To our knowledge, most reports to date have focused on select aspects of the maternal or fetal infection and fetal effects. OBJECTIVE To describe the prenatal evolution and perinatal outcomes of 11 neonates who had developmental abnormalities and neurological damage associated with ZIKV infection in Brazil. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS We observed 11 infants with congenital ZIKV infection from gestation to 6 months in the state of Paraíba, Brazil. Ten of 11 women included in this study presented with symptoms of ZIKV infection during the first half of pregnancy, and all 11 had laboratory evidence of the infection in several tissues by serology or polymerase chain reaction. Brain damage was confirmed through intrauterine ultrasonography and was complemented by magnetic resonance imaging. Histopathological analysis was performed on the placenta and brain tissue from infants who died. The ZIKV genome was investigated in several tissues and sequenced for further phylogenetic analysis. MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES Description of the major lesions caused by ZIKV congenital infection. RESULTS Of the 11 infants, 7 (63.6%) were female, and the median (SD) maternal age at delivery was 25 (6) years. Three of 11 neonates died, giving a perinatal mortality rate of 27.3%. The median (SD) cephalic perimeter at birth was 31 (3) cm, a value lower than the limit to consider a microcephaly case. In all patients, neurological impairments were identified, including microcephaly, a reduction in cerebral volume, ventriculomegaly, cerebellar hypoplasia, lissencephaly with hydrocephalus, and fetal akinesia deformation sequence (ie, arthrogryposis). Results of limited testing for other causes of microcephaly, such as genetic disorders and viral and bacterial infections, were negative, and the ZIKV genome was found in both maternal and neonatal tissues (eg, amniotic fluid, cord blood, placenta, and brain). Phylogenetic analyses showed an intrahost virus variation with some polymorphisms in envelope genes associated with different tissues. CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE Combined findings from clinical, laboratory, imaging, and pathological examinations provided a more complete picture of the severe damage and developmental abnormalities caused by ZIKV infection than has been previously reported. The term congenital Zika syndrome is preferable to refer to these cases, as microcephaly is just one of the clinical signs of this congenital malformation disorder.
A major concern associated with ZIKV infection is the increased incidence of microcephaly with frequent calcifications in infants born from infected mothers. To date, postmortem analysis of the central nervous system (CNS) in congenital infection is limited to individual reports or small series. We report a comprehensive neuropathological study in ten newborn babies infected with ZIKV during pregnancy, including the spinal cords and dorsal root ganglia (DRG), and also muscle, pituitaries, eye, systemic organs, and placentas. Using in situ hybridization (ISH) and electron microscopy, we investigated the role of direct viral infection in the pathogenesis of the lesions. Nine women had Zika symptoms between the 4th and 18th and one in the 28th gestational week. Two babies were born at 32, one at 34 and 36 weeks each and six at term. The cephalic perimeter was reduced in four, and normal or enlarged in six patients, although the brain weights were lower than expected. All had arthrogryposis, except the patient infected at 28 weeks gestation. We defined three patterns of CNS lesions, with different patterns of destructive, calcification, hypoplasia, and migration disturbances. Ventriculomegaly was severe in the first pattern due to midbrain damage with aqueduct stenosis/distortion. The second pattern had small brains and mild/moderate (ex-vacuo) ventriculomegaly. The third pattern, a well-formed brain with mild calcification, coincided with late infection. The absence of descending fibres resulted in hypoplastic basis pontis, pyramids, and cortico-spinal tracts. Spinal motor cell loss explained the intrauterine akinesia, arthrogryposis, and neurogenic muscle atrophy. DRG, dorsal nerve roots, and columns were normal. Lympho-histiocytic inflammation was mild. ISH showed meningeal, germinal matrix, and neocortical infection, consistent with neural progenitors death leading to proliferation and migration disorders. A secondary ischemic process may explain the destructive lesions. In conclusion, we characterized the destructive and malformative consequences of ZIKV in the nervous system, as reflected in the topography and severity of lesions, anatomic localization of the virus, and timing of infection during gestation. Our findings indicate a developmental vulnerability of the immature CNS, and shed light on possible mechanisms of brain injury of this newly recognized public health threat.
Objective To describe clinical characteristics of pregnant and postpartum women with severe COVID‐19 in Brazil and to examine risk factors for mortality. Design Cross‐sectional study based on secondary surveillance database analysis. Setting Nationwide Brazil. Population or sample 978 Brazilian pregnant and postpartum women notified as COVID‐19 Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) cases with complete outcome (death or cure) up to 18 June 2020. Methods Data was abstracted from the Brazilian ARDS Surveillance System (ARDS‐SS) database. All eligible cases were included. Data on demographics, clinical characteristics, intensive care resources use and outcomes were collected. Risk factors for mortality were examined by multivariate logistic regression. Main outcome measures Case fatality rate. Results We identified 124 maternal deaths, corresponding to a case fatality rate among COVID‐19 ARDS cases in the obstetric population of 12.7%. At least one comorbidity was present in 48.4% of fatal cases compared with 24.9% in survival cases. Among women who died, 58.9% were admitted to ICU, 53.2% had invasive ventilation and 29.0% had no respiratory support. The multivariate logistic regression showed that the main risk factors for maternal death by COVID‐19 were being postpartum at onset of ARDS, obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease, whereas white ethnicity had a protective effect. Conclusions Negative outcomes of COVID‐19 in this population are affected by clinical characteristics but social determinants of health also seem to play a role. It is urgent to reinforce containment measures targeting the obstetric population and ensure high quality care throughout pregnancy and the postpartum period. Tweetable abstract A total of 124 COVID‐19 maternal deaths were identified in Brazil. Symptoms onset at postpartum and comorbidities are risk factors.
Congenital Zika syndrome (CZS) causes early brain development impairment by affecting neural progenitor cells (NPCs). Here, we analyze NPCs from three pairs of dizygotic twins discordant for CZS. We compare by RNA-Seq the NPCs derived from CZS-affected and CZS-unaffected twins. Prior to Zika virus (ZIKV) infection the NPCs from CZS babies show a significantly different gene expression signature of mTOR and Wnt pathway regulators, key to a neurodevelopmental program. Following ZIKV in vitro infection, cells from affected individuals have significantly higher ZIKV replication and reduced cell growth. Whole-exome analysis in 18 affected CZS babies as compared to 5 unaffected twins and 609 controls excludes a monogenic model to explain resistance or increased susceptibility to CZS development. Overall, our results indicate that CZS is not a stochastic event and depends on NPC intrinsic susceptibility, possibly related to oligogenic and/or epigenetic mechanisms.
Zika virus (ZiKV) has been extensively studied since it was linked to congenital malformations, and recent research has revealed that astrocytes are targets of ZiKV. However, the consequences of ZiKV infection, especially to this cell type, remain largely unknown, particularly considering integrative studies aiming to understand the crosstalk among key cellular mechanisms and fates involved in the neurotoxicity of the virus. Here, the consequences of ZiKV infection in ipSc-derived astrocytes are presented. our results show RoS imbalance, mitochondrial defects and DnA breakage, which have been previously linked to neurological disorders. We have also detected glial reactivity, also present in mice and in post-mortem brains from infected neonates from the northeast of Brazil. Given the role of glia in the developing brain, these findings may help to explain the observed effects in congenital Zika syndrome related to neuronal loss and motor deficit.
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