ZIKA a new kid on the block in Mother-to-child transmitted diseases.

TORCH is an acronym for a group of diseases that cause congenital (present at birth) conditions if a fetus is exposed to them in the uterus.

TORCH stands for:

  • Toxoplasmosis
  • Other (Syphillis, Varicella, Mumps, Parvovirus, HIV)
  • Rubella
  • Cytomegalovirus
  • Herpes Simplex

Depending on how research goes, ZIKA might just qualify as the new kid on the block amongst existing TORCH viruses.

The recent association between Zika virus (ZIKV) infection during pregnancy and fetal microcephaly has led to a renewed interest in the mechanisms by which vertically transmitted microorganisms reach the fetus and cause congenital disease.

In this Opinion article, we provide an overview of the structure and cellular composition of the human placenta and of the mechanisms by which traditional ‘TORCH’ pathogens (Toxoplasma gondii, other, rubella virus, cytomegalovirus and herpes simplex virus) access the fetal compartment.

Based on our current understanding of ZIKA pathogenesis and the developmental defects that are caused by fetal ZIKA infection, ZIKA should be considered a TORCH pathogen and future research and public health measures should be planned and implemented accordingly.
Source: http://www.nature.com/nrmicro/journal/vaop...