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Evidence for congenital Zika virus infection from neutralizing antibody titers in maternal sera, northeastern Brazil

: Moreira-Soto, Andres; Sarno, Manoel; Pedroso, Célia; Netto, Eduardo M.; Rockstroh, Alexandra; Luz, Estela; Feldmann, Marie; Fischer, Carlo; Bastos, Fernanda Anjos; Kümmerer, Beate M.; Lamballerie, Xavier N. de; Drosten, Christian; Ulbert, Sebastian; Brites, Carlos R.; Drexler, Jan F.

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The journal of infectious diseases : JID 216 (2017), Nr.12, S.1501-1504
ISSN: 0022-1899 (Print)
ISSN: 1537-6613 (Online)
Zeitschriftenaufsatz, Elektronische Publikation
Fraunhofer IZI ()
Brazil; microcephaly; neutralization test; parturient; Zika virus

Reliable diagnosis of congenital Zika virus (ZIKV) infection is challenging. Here, we assessed ZIKV-specific neutralizing antibodies in 28 mothers of children with microcephaly (cases) and 122 controls from northeastern Brazil using plaque reduction neutralization tests. ZIKV-specific antibody titers were significantly higher in cases than in controls (t test, P < .0001). We identified a putative case of congenital Zika syndrome retrospectively by unusually high ZIKV-specific antibody titers. High ZIKV-specific antibody titers in cases were unrelated to prior dengue virus infection. Our data suggest a strong immunological stimulus from prolonged placental or transplacental ZIKV shedding and potential utility of maternal antibody titers to corroborate congenital ZIKV infection.