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Dear friends,

Thank you for your interest, and for many of you, participation in the ZIKAction project. We are excited to be part of a diverse group of global experts working together to better understand and address the threat of Zika virus infection, especially among mothers and children. Through an integrated programme of epidemiological, clinical and pathobiological research studies we will address key knowledge gaps related to Zika virus epidemiology, natural history and pathogenesis, developing a multidisciplinary multinational ready-to-act network capable of rapidly addressing any maternal and paediatric health research need arising from the ongoing Zika virus outbreak.

In each edition of this newsletter we will give you a more in-depth look at several of our activities, introducing you to our team and elaborating on the importance of our work together. In this inaugural edition, we are pleased to introduce the ZIKA-VT Protocol Writing Group, who will outline the vertical transmission study to be launched next month in Jamaica, Ana Bispo with an update on the state of the art of Zika virus diagnostics, and Maureen Long, who is working on a model of vertical Zika virus transmission in sheep.

You can also learn about upcoming events of interest (keep your eyes on this space in our next newsletter for our second annual meeting!) and publications from our team. We are happy to share some photos from our excellent kick off meeting held in Kingston last October – thank you so much to our gracious host, Celia, and her entire team. Let’s see if we can book the steel drum band for all of our future meetings!

All the best,


Prof. Carlo Giaquinto
ZIKAction Project Coordinator
Work Package Activities

ZIKA VT: Mother-to-child transmission of Chikungunya, Dengue and Zika Virus infection: a prospective observational cohort study of pregnant women and their infants
We are excited to begin enrollment in the prospective cohort study of mother-to-child transmission of Zika (ZIKV), Dengue (DENV) and Chikungunya (CHIKV) virus infection, having received ethics approval in Jamaica this month. 

ZIKA PATHO: Pilot Study in Ewes
The goal of our project is to develop a non-rodent model of Zika virus (ZIKV) infection. For this, we hypothesized that sheep will be a viable model that recapitulates the events of human development.

ZIKA VID: Zika virus diagnostics
Laboratory diagnosis of Zika virus (ZIKV) infection relies on virus isolation and nucleic acid, antigen and antibody detection. The virus can be detected in a wide range of biological samples, with low levels in blood only reliably detectible within 6 days of illness onset.


Meetings & Events

The ZIKAction Kick-off meeting was a success!
October 30 to November 1, 2016
The ZIKAction Kick-Off Meeting was held in Kingston, Jamaica at the University of West Indies from October 30th to November 1st.

Zika Workshop in Brazil: A Collaborative Exchange
December 2, 2016
GloPID-R members hosted a workshop in São Paulo, Brazil on November 30 – December 2, 2016 to facilitate collaboration between members on the Zika funded research projects. ZIKAction participated in the workshop, whose aim was to identify and establish collaboration and synergies between the research and capacity development projects in support of the Zika virus response in Latin America and the Caribbean funded by GloPID-R members worldwide.

ZIKAction team in Cape Verde
March 31, 2017 

ZIKAction visited the West African country of Cape Verde, which last year experienced an outbreak of Zika virus (ZIKV). The hospital personnel in Praia, the capital of Santiago – main-island warmly welcomed the ZIKAction team and are eager to contribute their first-hand experience with and knowledge of ZIKV infection in pregnancy to ZIKAction activities.

ZIKAction received ethics approval in Jamaica
April 5, 2017
In ZIKAction we are excited to begin enrollment in the prospective cohort study of mother-to-child transmission of Zika (ZIKV), Dengue (DENV) and Chikungunya (CHIKV) virus infection, having received ethics approval in Jamaica in April.
Cross Consortia Collaboration

A modernized, integrated approach to killing Zika vectors
No treatment or vaccine is yet available for Zika virus so disease control is limited to the management of mosquitoes. Historically, this has relied on either insecticides or the destruction of larval breeding sites. However, in the Latin American context of burgeoning insecticide resistance and expanding mega-cities, these traditional methods have had limited impact.
ZikaPLAN and ZikAlliance working together on Mathematical Modeling for Zika
The explosive Zika virus epidemic in the Americas has the potential to amplify the spread into previously unaffected regions of the world, including Europe. As summertime approaches in the northern hemisphere, Aedes mosquitoes in Europe may find suitable climatic conditions to acquire and subsequently transmit Zika virus from viremic travelers to local populations.

Cross-Consortia Meeting: University of Heidelburg
An important part of the collaborative work undertaken by ZikAction, ZikAlliance and ZikaPLAN is the harmonization of the multicentre cohort studies and the identification of both common and consortia-specific variables.
Iovine NM, Lednicky J, Cherabuddi K, et al. Coinfection With Zika and Dengue-2 Viruses in a Traveler Returning From Haiti, 2016: Clinical Presentation and Genetic Analysis. Clin Infect Dis. 2017;64(1):72-75. 

Gaskell KM, Houlihan C, Nastouli E, Checkley AM. Persistent Zika Virus Detection in Semen in a Traveler Returning to the United Kingdom from Brazil, 2016. Emerg Infect Dis. 2017;23(1):137-139. 

Bocanegra C, Sulleiro E, Soriano-Arandes A, et al. Zika virus infection in pregnant women in Barcelona, Spain. Clin Microbiol Infect. 2016;22(7):648-650. 

Capua I. Data sharing: A code of conduct for data on epidemics. In: Nature. Vol 534. England2016:326. 

Lednicky J, Beau De Rochars VM, El Badry M, et al. Zika Virus Outbreak in Haiti in 2014: Molecular and Clinical Data. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2016;10(4):e0004687. 

Solomon T, Baylis M, Brown D. Zika virus and neurological disease--approaches to the unknown. Lancet Infect Dis. 2016;16(4):402-404. 

Bispo A. Brazil's scientists scramble to solve the Zika puzzle. In: Bull World Health Organ. Vol 94. Switzerland2016:165-166. 

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This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under Grant Agreement No 734857.

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Reasearch and clinic trial · Torre della Ricerca Pediatrica Corso Stati Uniti 4 · Padova, Pd 35127 · Italy

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