The impact of the complement system on fetal brain and retinal development during viral infection.

Chief Investigator: Associate Professor Jillian Carr

Funding Amount : $98,679

Recipient: Flinders University

Overview: Sometimes, viral infection during pregnancy infects the baby with devastating and permanent effects on the brain and eye. Zika is an example of a virus that does this. It is normal to get an immune response to infection and ‘complement’ is part of this. However, complement also has a role in brain and eye development, and hence an infection can disrupt development. Our study will find the parts of the complement system that can control viral infection but spare damage to development. This may provide a therapeutic target for zika, other viruses and childhood disorders that result from mistargeted complement.