Zika healthcare workers
Zika healthcare workersReuters

Scientists have said that an antibiotic called Duramycin may cut down the risk of transmission of the Zika virus from the mother to her foetus. The transmission of the Zika virus to the foetus has apparently resulted in an alarming number of microcephaly cases -- characterised by the presence of abnormally small size of heads in babies.

The discovery of Duramycin as the potential block to the Zika virus transmission may, therefore, help in the reduction of many Zika-linked foetal abnormalities such as microcephaly.

According to a study published in the Cell host microbe, the Zika virus can attack the foetus through placental route during the first trimester of pregnancy and through amniotic sac in the second trimester.

The study also found that duramycin stopped the replication of the virus in cells that transmit it to the foetus.

Duramycin has been used in animals and people suffering from cystinc fibrosis to ward-off bacterial infection. 

Recently, the drug was used for the treatment of dengue. 

The study said that Duramycin worked successfully blocking the Zika virus transmission through both placental and amniotic sac routes and seemed to be effective even at low dose concentrations.