Animals in Research

Ultrasound of a pregnant Rhesus monkey that has been infected with Zika virus

Location: Wisconsin, USA
Group: Primates
Species: Rhesus macaque

Researchers perform a fetal ultrasound on a pregnant rhesus monkey to study the link between the Zika virus and birth defects.  They are trying to learn how, when and where the virus infects the fetus and causes disease.  When an adult male is infected, the virus is cleared quickly.  But in pregnant females the virus lingers and shows up in the fetus' spleen and lymph nodes.  The goal is to find strategies to inform vaccine development and other preventative measures or interventions against birth defects.