image of Congenital Zika Virus Infection in a Birth Cohort in Vietnam, 2017–2018
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645


To detect congenital ZIKV infection (CZI) in a birth cohort and among high-risk neonates in Vietnam, we collected umbilical cord blood plasma samples of newly delivered babies and peripheral plasma samples of high-risk neonates in Nha Trang, central Vietnam, between July 2017 and September 2018. Samples were subjected to serological and molecular tests. Of the 2013 newly delivered babies, 21 (1%) were positive for Zika virus (ZIKV) IgM and 1,599 (79%) for IgG. Among the 21 ZIKV IgM-positives, 11 were confirmed to have CZI because their plasma samples had anti-ZIKV neutralization titers ≥ 4 times higher than those against dengue virus (DENV)-1 to 4 and Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) and were tested for the ZIKV RNA positive by real-time reverse transcription–PCR. Therefore, the incidence of CZI in our birth cohort was approximately 0.5%. Of the 150 high-risk neonates, three (2%) and 95 (63%) were positive for ZIKV IgM and IgG antibodies, respectively. None of the three ZIKV IgM-positives had ≥ 4 times higher anti-ZIKV neutralization titers than those against DENV-1 to 4 and JEV, and were therefore considered as probable CZI. Our results indicate that CZI is not rare in Vietnam. Although those with confirmed CZI did not show apparent symptoms suspected of congenital Zika syndrome at birth, detailed examinations and follow-up studies are needed to clarify the CZI impact in Vietnam. This is the first report of CZI cases in a birth cohort in Asia.

[open-access] This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


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  • Received : 13 Apr 2020
  • Accepted : 26 Jun 2020
  • Published online : 17 Aug 2020
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