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Diagnostics for the vertical transmission and paediatric studies. An article by Eleni Nastouli

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).

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Successful infection of pregnant ewes in ZIKAction sheep model of Zika vertical transmission

Within the ZIKA-PATHO work package of ZIKAction, Dr. Maureen Long and her lab at the University of Florida have developed a sheep model of mother-to-child Zika virus transmission. Fetal sheep have proven to be an excellent model of fetal stress in human pregnancies, highly succeptible to early viral infection and demonstrating brain and limb defects in association with these infections.

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