This breakthrough finding could result in a diagnostic test to screen fetuses for Zika-associated birth defects whilst still in the womb. This would reassure expectant mothers that their babies are healthy.
The Zika virus is transmitted by the bite of the Aedes species of mosquito. It produces no or very mild symptoms such as low fever.
However, a pregnant woman infected with the virus has a high risk of giving birth to a child with very severe developmental defects.