November 7, 2017 -- Last week, scientists from Latin America, Europe, the Caribbean and the United States met at UF's Emerging Pathogens Institute to discuss research on Zika virus and other arboviruses.
Frederico Martinón, a pediatrician and clinical researcher fromSantiago, Spain who gave a talk concerning Zika infection from the host's perspective.
Arboviruses, which infect humans through mosquitoes and other arthropods, account for a significant share of the world's infectious diseases. Zika virus infects humans through the bite of the Aedes aegypti mosquito, although the Asian tiger mosquito is also thought to be a potential Zika transmitter.
During the meeting, which took place Thursday, Nov. 2 and Friday, Nov. 3, Zika researchers discussed the genetics of Zika, how the virus has changed over time and how a variety of "clades" are present throughout Asia, Africa and the Americas.
ZIKAction is a European Union funded project under the HORIZON2020 Programme. It includes an integrated programme of epidemiological, clinical and pathobiological research studies to examine the strength and nature of the association between maternal Zika virus infection in pregnancy and adverse maternal and fetal outcomes, to elucidate the timing and mechanisms of vertical transmission of Zika virus and to investigate burden and natural history of congenital and acquired pediatric Zika virus infection.
The ZIKAction Consortium meeting hosted by the University of Florida was the second annual event of this kind and brought together the representatives of each partner organization with the aim of presentiing preliminary results and activities, proposing potential collaborations to find solutions to any challenges encountered and developing new, exciting directions for the research. Through roundtables and talks, the latest epidemiological trends of Zika and other arboviral infections in Latin America and the Caribbean were discussed, as well as ways to better understand and confront these viruses.
For more information, click on the link below to read an article about the meeting in The Gainesville Sun: