Zika virus and assisted reproduction

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Abstract

Purpose of review

Due to the fact that the Zika virus can be sexually transmitted, there is a potential risk for disease transmission at several stages of assisted reproduction. Such a possibility poses a serious challenge to couples pursing fertility with reproductive technologies. Here, we discuss what is known regarding Zika virus infection with respect to sexual transmission and correlate this knowledge with recent recommendations in the realm of infertility treatment.

Recent findings

Zika virus can be transmitted from infected men and women through vaginal, oral or anal intercourse. Zika virus RNA has been detected in blood, semen, cervical mucus and vaginal fluid. Currently, the Centers for Disease Control recommends that infected men wait 6 months, and infected women 8 weeks, prior to attempting pregnancy. Reproductive tissue donors should wait 6 months before giving a specimen.

Summary

Further study of Zika virus transmission in different reproductive tissues and establishment of validated testing methods for viral disease transmissibility are urgently needed. Reproductive technologists need to establish screening, testing and laboratory protocols aimed to reduce the risk of Zika virus transmission during assisted reproduction.

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