ZikaPLAN: addressing the knowledge gaps and working towards a research preparedness network in the Americas

Wilder-Smith, A. et al. (2019) ZikaPLAN: addressing the knowledge gaps and working towards a research preparedness network in the Americas. Global Health Action, 12(1), 1666566. (doi: 10.1080/16549716.2019.1666566) (PMID:31640505) (PMCID:PMC6818126)

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Zika Preparedness Latin American Network (ZikaPLAN) is a research consortium funded by the European Commission to address the research gaps in combating Zika and to establish a sustainable network with research capacity building in the Americas. Here we present a report on ZikaPLAN`s mid-term achievements since its initiation in October 2016 to June 2019, illustrating the research objectives of the 15 work packages ranging from virology, diagnostics, entomology and vector control, modelling to clinical cohort studies in pregnant women and neonates, as well as studies on the neurological complications of Zika infections in adolescents and adults. For example, the Neuroviruses Emerging in the Americas Study (NEAS) has set up more than 10 clinical sites in Colombia. Through the Butantan Phase 3 dengue vaccine trial, we have access to samples of 17,000 subjects in 14 different geographic locations in Brazil. To address the lack of access to clinical samples for diagnostic evaluation, ZikaPLAN set up a network of quality sites with access to well-characterized clinical specimens and capacity for independent evaluations. The International Committee for Congenital Anomaly Surveillance Tools was formed with global representation from regional networks conducting birth defects surveillance. We have collated a comprehensive inventory of resources and tools for birth defects surveillance, and developed an App for low resource regions facilitating the coding and description of all major externally visible congenital anomalies including congenital Zika syndrome. Research Capacity Network (REDe) is a shared and open resource centre where researchers and health workers can access tools, resources and support, enabling better and more research in the region. Addressing the gap in research capacity in LMICs is pivotal in ensuring broad-based systems to be prepared for the next outbreak. Our shared and open research space through REDe will be used to maximize the transfer of research into practice by summarizing the research output and by hosting the tools, resources, guidance and recommendations generated by these studies. Leveraging on the research from this consortium, we are working towards a research preparedness network.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:This project, ZikaPLAN is funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under Grant Agreement No. 734584. Some authors have received additional research funding. For example, TS is supported by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), Health Protection Research Unit in Emerging and Zoonotic Infections (Grant No. IS-HPU-1112-10117), and NIHR Global Health Research Group on Brain Infections (No. 17/63/110). MERG as a group has received funding from Wellcome Trust UK, Department for International Development UK, Medical Research Council UK, the Brazilian funding through CNPq, Secretaria de Vigilância de Saúde (SVS), and Fundação do Amparo a Ciência e Tecnologia (FACEPE).
Keywords:European Commission, Guillain-Barré syndrome, Zika, birth defect, congenital Zika syndrome, encephalitis, epidemic preparedness, microcephaly, research capacity building, sustainability.
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Willison, Professor Hugh and Barnett, Professor Susan and Edgar, Professor Julia
Authors: Wilder-Smith, A., Preet, R., Brickley, E. B., Ximenes, R. A. d. A., Miranda-Filho, D. d. B., Turchi Martelli, C. M., Araújo, T. V. B. d., Montarroyos, U. R., Moreira, M. E., Turchi, M. D., Solomon, T., Jacobs, B. C., Villamizar, C. P., Osorio, L., de Filipps, A. M. B., Neyts, J., Kaptein, S., Huits, R., Ariën, K. K., Willison, H. J., Edgar, J. M., Barnett, S. C., Peeling, R., Boeras, D., Guzman, M. G., de Silva, A. M., Falconar, A. K., Romero-Vivas, C., Gaunt, M. W., Sette, A., Weiskopf, D., Lambrechts, L., Dolk, H., Morris, J. K., Orioli, I. M., O'Reilly, K. M., Yakob, L., Rocklöv, J., Soares, C., Ferreira, M. L. B., Franca, R. F. d. O., Precioso, A. R., Logan, J., Lang, T., Jamieson, N., and Massad, E.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Infection & Immunity
Research Centre:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Infection & Immunity > Centre for Immunobiology
Journal Name:Global Health Action
Publisher:Taylor and Francis
ISSN (Online):1654-9880
Published Online:23 October 2019
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2019 The Authors
First Published:First published in Global Health Action 12(1):1666566
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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