Genetic mutations triggered by the lethal pathogen threaten to become irrevocably established in human DNA, they warn.
Severe deformities resulting from the virus slowly altering the genome will be passed on through generations to come.
Rather than continuing to evolve, development of the species will regress as the microbe causes human brains to shrink over thousands of years.
A report to be published in the Journal of Astrobiology and Outreach claims the Zika virus threatens a “a dramatic retrogression of human evolution”.
It says the worst case scenario would be that viral DNA becomes encoded in the human genome giving rise to “a population of humans with diminished brain size and cognition”.
Author Professor Edward Steele, biologist and immunologist the CY O’Connor ERADE Village Foundation in Australia, said: “Whilst the Zika virus continues to grab headlines, its possible long-term impact on humanity appears to