The 2nd International Conference on Zika Virus and Aedes Related Infections was held June 14-17, 2018 in Tallinn, Estonia. Leading internationally recognized scientists and clinicians presented work predominantly related to Zika virus that spanned cutting edge basic, clinical and diagnostic research.
The ZIKAction team was represented at the meeting by two members from the Jamaican arm of the study: National Epidemiologist Dr. Karen Webster-Kerr and myself, Virologist Dr. Joshua Anzinger. Dr. Webster-Kerr presented national epidemiological data in an oral presentation entitled “Epidemiology of ZIKV-Affected Pregnancy Outcomes in Jamaica” and I presented a poster entitled “Seroprevalence of Dengue, Chikungunya and Zika Viruses in an Antenatal Population in the Greater Kingston Metropolitan Region of Jamaica”. Both presentations were well received and the poster presentation was awarded “Best Poster” at the meeting.
The ZIKAction poster presentation described the high exposure level of pregnant Jamaican women to dengue, chikungunya and Zika viruses. This data was obtained from first clinic visits of pregnant women enrolled in the longitudinal ZIKAction-Vertical Transmission (VT) study that primarily aims to examine the outcomes of maternal arbovirus infection during pregnancy, including infection in the infant and adverse pregnancy outcomes. Planning is underway to develop the presented preliminary work into a more comprehensive study to be submitted for publication.
The Jamaican team is excited that our hard work is gaining international attention as we press forward with the Jamaican arm of the ZIKAction-VT study. The work presented in the poster would not be possible without the tireless efforts the international team and members of the Jamaican arm of the ZIKAction-VT study that span clinical, diagnostic, research and administrative roles that are all essential for the success of the study. On behalf of the ZIKAction-VT Jamaican team I thank everyone for their contribution and look forward to continued success as we answer fundamental questions of international importance.
Dr. Joshua Anzinger is Virologist and Head of the University of the West Indies Mona Lab in Kingston, Jamaica