Challenges of scientific collaboration during an outbreak: the recent experience with Zika in Brazil
Successful technology transfer of a Zika vaccine developed by Institut Pasteur Shanghai-Chinese Academy of Sciences (IPS-CAS) to Chongqing Zhifei Biological Products Co., Ltd.by ZIKAlliance
Institut Pasteur Shanghai-Chinese Academy of Sciences (IPS-CAS), a partner of the ZIKAlliance consortium, announced that it has entered into a collaborative research agreement with Chongqing Zhifei Biological Products Stock Co., Ltd. (Zhifei) for the clinical studies and commercialization of a recombinant Zika virus subunit vaccine developed by IPS-CAS.
The key message from this study is that the large uncertainty around the risk estimate needs to be further investigated because of a) the possible existence of co-factors that are yet to be validated, b) the assumptions that the authors needed to make in the absence of good data for the proportion of women who were infected during pregnancy.
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.
GloPID-R members hosted the “GloPID-R Zika Virus Research Workshop” in Sao Paulo, Brazil on November 30 – December 2, 2016 to facilitate collaboration between members on Zika funded research projects. The workshop’s 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.