Natural compound protects against Zika virus infection and microcephaly

Zika virus has recently been identified as a global health threat due in large part to its destructive effects on the developing brain, often resulting in microcephaly.  Through a collaboration with groups led by our UCLA colleague Genhong Cheng, Zhiheng Xu at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and Cheng-Feng Qin at the Beijing Institute of Microbiology and Epidemiology, we show that 25-hydroxycholesterol, a molecule produced by cells in response to viral infection, can inhibit Zika virus infection and reduce fetal brain damage.

For more details, please see our paper  [here].  Press releases related to the study can be found [here] and [here].