December 21, 2017

Prof. Laura Rodrigues, and members of the MERG ZikaPLAN working group she leads, are among the authors of an article published in the December 11 issue of The Lancet Infectious Diseases: Association between microcephaly, Zika virus infection, and other risk factors in Brazil: final report of a case-control study. The research was partially funded by ZikaPLAN.

The authors looked at possible risk factors for the increase in congenital microcephaly cases observed in Pernambuco between 2015 and 2016. Several hypotheses pointed out at the beginning of the epidemic were tested, such as an association with the use of vaccines (Tdap, MR, MMR), the use of Pyriproxyfen larvicide in water reservoirs and the use of drugs during pregnancy. The final results of the study confirmed the strong association between microcephaly and Zika virus infection, which had been previously documented, and found no evidence of association with the other risk factors investigated. The Microcephaly Epidemic Research Group (MERG) is formed by researchers from Fiocruz Pernambuco, and the federal and state universities of Pernambuco, among other institutions.

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