Zika virus damages testes

The Zika virus causes testicular atrophy and could harm male fertility, according to a study published Feb. 22 by Science Advances. Previously, scientists were unaware of how the virus affected testes.

Yale researchers analyzed mice infected with a non-lethal strain of the virus. After 21 days, the infected mice had much smaller testes, suggesting that the virus could potentially have a long-term effect on male fertility.

This research shows how the virus harms testes as well as how it replicates in testicular cells, according to study author Ryuta Uraki.

Study authors also said that these findings convey the need to continue the battle against Zika in order to develop a vaccine.

Funding was provided by NIH grants.