The ZikaPLAN initiative combines the strengths of 25 partners in Latin America, North America, Africa, Asia, and various centres in Europe to address the urgent research gaps in Zika, identifying short-and long term solutionsand building a sustainable Latin-American EID Preparedness and Response capacity.
We will conduct clinical studies to further refine the full spectrum and risk factors of congenital Zika syndrome (including neurodevelopmental milestones in the first 3 years of life), and delineate neurological complications associated with Zika due to direct neuroinvasion and immune-mediated responses. Laboratory based research to unravel neurotropism, investigate the role of sexual transmission, determinants of severe disease, and viral fitness will envelop the clinical studies. To this end we will engage in capacity building in laboratory and clinical research, collaborate with existing networks to share knowledge and tackle regulatory and other bottlenecks.
Our final objective is for the Zika outbreak response effort to grow into a sustainable Latin-American network for emerging infectious diseases research preparedness.