This pioneering study provides a precise follow-up of incident cases and seroprevalence in blood donors, and it also provides important insights into the management of blood donations during ZIKV outbreaks and into the natural history of ZIKV infection in adults. It suggests that the study of blood donors during outbreaks of emerging pathogens has become a key element of epidemiological surveillance.
A study performed by the Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale (INSERM) team of Dr Ali Amara (U944, Paris, France) and published in Cell Reports sheds new light on the mechanisms allowing ZIKV to infect cells within the human nervous system. Amara et al. showed that the protein Axl is expressed in a number of brain glial cells and that the entry of ZIKV into these cells requires another protein, Gas6, to act as a bridge between the ZIKV particles and the glial cells.
Hosted by University Sao Paulo Medical School at the Centro de Convenções Rebouças ZIKAlliance, the multinational and multidisciplinary consortium coordinated by Inserm, the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research, and created in response to a Horizon 2020 funding call by the European Commission’s Directorate-General Research and Innovation, has officially started its activities with the kick-off meeting held in Brazil over the 4th and 5th December 2016.