Zika virus impairs growth in human neurospheres and brain organoids

Since the emergence of Zika virus (ZIKV), reports of microcephaly have increased dramatically in Brazil; however, causality between the widespread epidemic and malformations in fetal brains has not been confirmed. Here, we examine the effects of ZIKV infection in human neural stem cells growing as neurospheres and cerebral organoids. Using immunocytochemistry and electron microscopy, we show that ZIKV targets human brain cells, reducing their viability and growth as neurospheres and cerebral organoids. These results suggest that ZIKV abrogates neurogenesis during human brain development.