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  • A new study shows that Zika targets the male reproductive system, at least in mice. Three weeks after Zika infection, male mice had shrunken testicles, low levels of sex hormones and reduced fertility, and their sperm remained infected with the virus, as shown above. The results suggest that Zika infection may interfere with men’s ability to have children, but additional studies are needed.
    Prabagaran Esakky/Eric Young
    A new study shows that Zika targets the male reproductive system, at least in mice. Three weeks after Zika infection, male mice had shrunken testicles, low levels of sex hormones and reduced fertility, and their sperm remained infected with the virus, as shown above. The results suggest that Zika infection may interfere with men’s ability to have children, but additional studies are needed.
  • The testicles of male mice showed cellular damage and shrinkage three weeks after Zika infection. On the left is a healthy mouse testicle; on the right, a testicle following Zika infection.
    Prabagaran Esakky
    The testicles of male mice showed cellular damage and shrinkage three weeks after Zika infection. On the left is a healthy mouse testicle; on the right, a testicle following Zika infection.
  • As Zika infection lingers in male mice, the internal structure of the testes breaks down. In an uninfected mouse (left), the cells in the testicle appear healthy, while in an infected mouse (right), the internal structure of the testicle has collapsed and few developing sperm (pink) are present.
    Prabagaran Esakky
    As Zika infection lingers in male mice, the internal structure of the testes breaks down. In an uninfected mouse (left), the cells in the testicle appear healthy, while in an infected mouse (right), the internal structure of the testicle has collapsed and few developing sperm (pink) are present.
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