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Author Notes:

Correspondence: anayajm@gmail.com

JMA produced the first draft of the manuscript.

CRS, ISC, CC, AA and MEG provided input through subsequent edits.

All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.



  • Autoimmunity
  • Gangliosides
  • Guillain-Barré syndrome
  • Microcephaly
  • Zika virus
  • Neurology

Zika virus and neurologic autoimmunity: the putative role of gangliosides.


Journal Title:

BMC Medical Education


Volume 14


, Pages 49-49

Type of Work:

Article | Final Publisher PDF


An increasing number of severe neurological complications associated with Zika virus (ZIKV), chiefly Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) and primary microcephaly, have led the World Health Organization to declare a global health emergency. Molecular mimicry between glycolipids and surface molecules of infectious agents explain most of the cases of GBS preceded by infection, while a direct toxicity of ZIKV on neural cells has been raised as the main mechanism by which ZIKV induces microcephaly. Gangliosides are crucial in brain development, and their expression correlates with neurogenesis, synaptogenesis, synaptic transmission, and cell proliferation. Targeting the autoimmune response to gangliosides may represent an underexploited opportunity to examine the increased incidence of neurological complications related to ZIKV infection.

Copyright information:

© Anaya et al. 2016. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

This is an Open Access work distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

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