Rotterdam, The Netherlands – On May 2-3 2019, the Second Annual Meeting of the EU-funded ZIKAlliance research project took place in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, gathering around 100 members who provided updates on the scientific developments of the project after its launch in October 2016.
ZIKAlliance partners from 19 different countries participated in this Second Annual Meeting. The meeting included presentations and updates on the latest scientific and operational developments, including: clinical biology and immunology, pathophysiology and animal models, ZIKV animal reservoirs, vectors and vector control, clinical cohorts, virology and antivirals, social sciences, data harmonization and data sharing, management, communications and cross-consortia collaboration.
Several parallel working sessions saw members from various work packages discussing areas of collaboration on topic such as diagnostics for the clinical studies, ZIKV serology, vertical transmission, ethics, operational strategies, and other future work to be carried out until the end of the project – September 2020. Some time was also spent discussing the future of the cohorts and involvement with other research such as metabolomics. As ever, such discussions across different work packages and scientific specialties reflected the spirit and efforts towards collaboration that has characterized the ZIKAlliance project since its inception. The Second Annual Meeting also saw the participation of Professor Annelies Wilder-Smith, Scientific Coordinator of ZikaPLAN, and the attendance of colleagues from ZIKAction, both ZIKAlliance’s sister networks.
Professor Xavier de Lamballerie, ZIKAlliance Scientific Coordinator, said: “It was a great pleasure to attend this meeting: not only the scientific quality of the presentations given was remarkable; we also had the opportunity to host our partners from Latin America and our colleagues from ZikaPLAN and ZIKAction. As a result, there was a spirit of collaboration and excellence, and the strong support provided by our Ethical Committee, our Scientific Committee, and by the President of Brazilian Fundação Oswaldo Cruz, Dr. Nísia Trindade Lima, has been a source of inspiration for all participants”.