New research from Washington University provides the first evidence of a human antibody capable of protecting fetuses from the Zika virus.
In pregnant women, the virus can cause severe birth defects, most notably microcephaly, in which infants are born with abnormally small heads.
According to a paper published this week in the journal Nature, scientists tested multiple human antibodies on infected pregnant mice. One antibody, ZIKV-117, was able to defend the mice fetuses from all existing strains of the Zika virus.
Wash U virologist Michael Diamond, a co-author of the study, said the finding makes significant progress in combating the virus.