A cross-consortia Data Sharing session took place at the Instituto Pedro Kouri in Havana, Cuba, on 11 August 2017. As part of the collaborative effort being pursued by 3 EU-funded Zika Consortia (ZIKAction, ZIKAlliance, and ZikaPLAN) on data harmonisation and data sharing, the meeting was an important opportunity to advance the ongoing work and update participants about the work done so far.
Today, the Ethics Committee of the Padua University Hospital has formally approved the ex vivo studies planned within the ZIKA-PATHO work package.
On July 11th to 14th the REDe team organized a series of workshops addressed to healthcare workers involved in all levels of clinical care, with the aim of supporting the ongoing ZIKA studies in Brazil. Among the visited sites,
The main focus of our group has been the optimisation of the current algorithm for testing pregnant women and their infants recruited in the ZIKAction studies. We started recruitment in Jamaica which is exciting and in order to answer the questions around vertical transmission in symptomatic and asymptomatic women at a given site and at a given time we were faced with challenging dilemmas around the optimal sampling protocol and importantly the optimal testing strategy for arbovirus infections (Zika, dengue and chikungunya).
Information nowadays is the most precious element for the success of any activity as we all know. In order to optimize the activities of ZIKAction in Brazil, the project management team organized a Brazilian counterpart led by me, Daniel Lang, and including local project managers Ana Carolina Gomes and Heloisa Setta.
The ZIKAction vertical transmission study primarily seeks to identify birth outcomes for pregnant women infected with Zika, dengue or chikungunya arboviruses. Having commenced in Jamaica starting June 2017, we have now enrolled, as of this writing, 144 pregnant women and stored over 2,000 samples for diagnostic testing and further analysis.
The study protocol will be discussed during the Ethics Committee session at the end of July: approval expected by early September.
Soon afterwards, Francesco Bonfante will start the ex vivo infection of placental explants, at the IZSVe, virology laboratory directed by Calogero (Lillo) Terregino.
The University of the West Indies has started the enrollment. This is a real milestone for the ZIKAction VT study and we wish Celia Christie-Samuels and her team all the best for their work.