Medical Research Council - London Institute of Medical Sciences

Now in our 8th year of bringing you beautiful imagery from biomedical science every day

Zika Structure Revealed
15 April 2016

Zika Structure Revealed

In February, the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared the outbreak of Zika virus infections in Brazil and other South and Central American countries to be a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. That was because of fears, confirmed just this week, that the virus causes microcephaly – the incomplete development of the head and brain – in babies born to mothers who suffered Zika infections during pregnancy. Strong evidence also exists that the virus, which spreads via mosquito bites, can cause Guillain-Barré syndrome – an autoimmune disorder that can lead to paralysis. Scientists are now hunting for ways to combat this dangerous pathogen, and recently they made an important initial step toward that goal: they determined its structure (pictured). Armed with this knowledge, researchers have a much better chance of designing effective antibodies or small molecules that could inhibit the virus, as well as developing an effective vaccine.

Written by Ruth Williams

Search The Archive

Submit An Image

What is BPoD?

BPoD stands for Biomedical Picture of the Day. Managed by the MRC London Institute of Medical Sciences the website aims to engage everyone, young and old, in the wonders of biomedicine. Images are kindly provided for inclusion on this website through the generosity of scientists across the globe.

Read More

BPoD is also available in Catalan at with translations by the University of Valencia.