Medical Research Council - London Institute of Medical Sciences

Now in our 9th year of bringing you beautiful imagery from biomedical science every day

Zika's Top Model
28 December 2016

Zika's Top Model

In 2016, the World Health Organization declared Zika virus a global public health emergency. Although most people infected with the virus have mild symptoms – such as a fever, rash or aches and pains – if they have any at all, it can have serious effects on pregnant women. First identified in Africa in the late 1940s and currently on the loose in South America and the southern United States, Zika virus causes brain and birth defects, including microcephaly [having an unusually small head]. It’s not clear exactly how the virus exerts its effects, so researchers have created a new mouse model of Zika virus infection. This image shows the virus (highlighted in green) infecting nerve cells in an animal’s brain. The researchers hope their model will shed light on the long-term effects of Zika infection on babies and children, leading to new prevention or treatment strategies in the future.

Written by Kat Arney

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.