First International Workshop on Zika Virus in Recife, Northeast Brazil
The workshop hosted by the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz) took place in March 2016 at the Research Institute Aggeu Magalhaes (IAM), the state of Pernambuco research branch of Fiocruz. The aim was to both provide an updated view on the Zika virus in Brazil and to examine the research advances and challenges.
Among the 600 attendees there were representatives from several institutions working on Zika virus science: researchers and academics from several other Fiocruz research entities in Brazil, from major Brazilian Universities and from other Brazilian research centres (such as the Evandro Chagas Institute).
International participants included the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and the University of Glasgow, among others. Over 4,000 connections to the live web broadcast were made from 26 countries throughout the duration of the workshop.
Special sessions were also organised by experts in the following research fields: arboviruses, Zika and vaccines. They discussed data regarding different circulating arthropod-borne viruses in Brazil (such as chikungunya and dengue), new data about Zika virus biology, in vitro models of infection and also strategies for vaccine development.
The scientists also looked at different areas of current research:
- Biology of the virus vector interaction: focusing on new findings on virus vector studies, including an evaluation of potential vectors for Zika virus and countermeasures to mosquito control,
- Clinical: discussing the latest clinical findings on Zika virus infection and major birth congenital malformations,
- Diagnosis: plotting new strategies to improve laboratory tests, development of technological products and also a historical update of Zika virus identification in Brazil,
- Epidemiology: providing an update on the clinical epidemiological studies under development in Brazil, with a presentation of the data on a case-control investigation of microcephaly cases and cohort studies.