Zika virus and congenital microcephaly: where are we?

Lia Matera-Torres


It is necessary to exercise the critical thinking to analyze objectively the concepts and get argumentation tools that allow to identify health problems in the light of the best available evidence in a world where computer technologic advances make easier the distribution and management of the information.

The Health Department of Brasil informed about the potential association of brain congenital malformations related to infections by Zika virus (ZIKV) on November 2015. A national emergency state was declared with the report of 646 microcephaly cases, only in Pernambuco, this number is equal to one case per 10.000 births. The government decided to consider every possible theory behind this situation including the association with ZIKV infection.

More than 300 articles were published in high-impact journals since January to September 2016 in order to clarify the possible association between microcephaly and ZIKV. However, the knowledge about this topic is still limited.

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Bandeira AC, Campos GS, Sardi SI. Zika virus

outbreak. Bahia. Brazil. Emerg Infect Dis.


Dde Araújo TV, de Alencar Ximenes RA, de Barros

Miranda-Filho D, Montarroyos UR, de Melo AP,

Rodrigues LC, Valongueiro S, et all. Association

between Zika virus infection and microcephaly in

Brazil, January to May, 2016: preliminary report of a

case-control study. Lancet Infect Dis. 2016 Sep 15.

Gelber SE, Grünebaum A, Chervenak FA. Prenatal

screening for microcephaly: an update after three

decades. J Perinat Med. 2016 Sep 23. pii: /j/jpme.


Jennita Reefhuis, Ph.D., Johansson, Ph.D., Luis

Mier-y-Teran-Romero, Ph.D., Michael A. Suzanne M.,

Gilboa, Ph.D., and Susan L. Hills, M.B. Perspective.

Zika and the risk of microcephaly. N Engl J Med.

mayo 25.

Villamil-Gómez WE, Mendoza-Guete A, Villalobos

E, González-Arismendy E, Uribe-García AM,

Castellanos JE, et al. Diagnosis, management

and follow-up of pregnant women with Zika virus

infection: A preliminary report of the ZIKERNCOL

cohort study on Sincelejo, Colombia. Travel Med

Infect Dis. 2016;14:155-8.

Wu J, Huang DY, Ma JT, Ma YH, YF Hu. Available

evidence of association between zika and

microcephaly. Chin Med J. 2016;126:2347- 56.

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Revista Ciencias Biomedicas
ISSN 2215-7840 / ISSN-e 2389-7252

Universidad de Cartagena
Facultad de Medicina Zaragocilla cra 50C # 24-120