“Beyond Zika”: a Tripartite Initiative
Scientists from Brazil, France, USA, and Australia gathered at the University of São Paulo (USP), Brazil, for a 2-day workshop on August 29 and 30 to present the most recent findings on the Zika virus (ZIKV) epidemic. They discussed perspectives regarding a more comprehensive understanding of the virus biology, possible outcomes for the current outbreak, as well as other infectious challenges that may pose threats to human health, particularly for those living in tropical countries like Brazil.
The meeting celebrated the scientific partnership between USP, Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz) and Institut Pasteur (IP) that, together with the Butantan Institute, decided to unite their efforts and strengths to create a new IP unit in São Paulo.
The meeting helped scientists to evaluate the impressive advancements achieved during the last six months on different aspects of the virus biology and in the mechanisms associated with congenital ZIKV syndrome (CZS). The meeting also allowed scientists from the different institutions to exchange data and ideas for concerted actions in the current ZIKV epidemic. Particular attention was given to the recent advances achieved on cohort studies, diagnostic methods, ZIKV biology, experimental models and prophylactic approaches, particularly in Brazil. Moreover, the importance of proactive preparedness for other potentially emerging infectious agents with pandemic potential was accessed. In sum, the meeting reinforced the relevance of integrating scientific knowledge and the development of solutions, brought by governments and private companies, to help society face the present and future infectious disease threats. The meeting had the financial support of USP central administration, FAPESP, the French Consulate, Brazilian scientific societies (Microbiology and Immunology), and private companies.
Workshops and Participants
- Epidemiology of the disease, both around the world and in Brazil, as presented by Dr. Maria van Kerkhove (Institut Pasteur – IP) and Dr. Patricia Jungmann (University of Pernambuco) respectively;
- Risk assessment and cohort studies, presented by Dr. Eduardo Massad (USP), Dr. Saulo Passos (Jundiaí Medicine School, São Paulo), Dr. Fernando Bozza (Fiocruz), Dr. Glaucia Baccala (bioMérieux), Dr. Claude Flamant (IP);
- Immunity and experimental models, presented by Dr. Jean-Pierre Perón (USP), Dr. Marc Lecuit (IP), Dr. Marie-Lise Gougeon (IP), and Dr. Andreas Suhrbier (QIMR Berghofer, Australia);
- Morbidities associated with neurological disturbances, presented by Dr. Patricia Braga (USP), Dr. Rogério Amino (IP), Dr. Sergio Schenkman (Federal University of São Paulo), Dr. Paola Minoprio (IP);
- Virus and vector biology, presented by Dr. Maurício Nogueira (School of Medicine of São José do Rio Preto, São Paulo), Dr. Daniel Bargieri (USP), Dr. Lincoln Suesdek (Butantan Institute), Dr. Margareth Capurro (USP), Dr. Renato de Souza (Adolfo Lutz Institute, São Paulo);
- Genetics and bioinformatics, presented by Dr. Paolo Zanotto (USP), Dr. Helder Nakaya (USP), Dr. Mayana Zatz (USP), and Dr. Eva Lee (Georgia Institute of Technology, USA);
- Diagnostic and immune interventions, presented by Dr. Albert Ko (Yale University, USA), Dr. Edison Durigon (USP), Dr. Claudia Nunes (Fiocruz), Dr. Jessica Vanhonwegen (IP), Dr. Zilton Vasconcelos (Fiocruz);
- Prevention and therapy, presented by Dr. Christiane Gerke (IP), Dr. Paulo Lee Ho (Butantan Institute), Dr. Glaucius Oliva (USP), and Dr. Lucio Holanda (Butantan Institute).