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NEWSLETTER  April 2017
 Prof. Xavier de Lamballerie,  ZIKAlliance Scientific Coordinator
Dear All,
Welcome to the first issue of the ZIKAlliance Newsletter. In this issue, I would like to highlight some significant news and events involving ZIKAlliance.
The next ZIKAlliance Annual Meeting will be held on 23-25 November in Pointe-à-Pitre, Guadeloupe. This meeting will be an important step in the life of the consortium: it will allow us to assess the scientific activity produced, and will provide the opportunity to discuss Zika virus research in the Caribbean region.

ZIKAlliance and the two other EU-funded consortia – ZikaPLAN and ZIKAction – will be represented at the 10th European Congress on Tropical Medicine and International Health (ECTMIH) in Antwerp, Belgium, 16-20 October 2017.
Two scientific sessions dedicated to Zika virus, lasting 90 minutes each, will be organised by the three consortia, and several ZIKAlliance scientists will present and share their research findings.
The congress will also host a ZIKAlliance Executive Committee, as well as a cross-consortia Executive Committee between ZIKAlliance, ZikaPLAN and ZIKAction.

In the last couple of months, ZIKAlliance has successfully launched a publicly accessible website, as well as a user-friendly intranet platform. The intranet, accessible only to ZIKAlliance partners, will play a crucial role in facilitating exchanges between consortium members for the duration of the ZIKAlliance project.
Finally, the scientific output of the ZIKAlliance consortium has thus far proven remarkable, with a dozen articles published or accepted for publication and five more currently in the publication pipeline. The publications generated cover a broad spectrum of the research fields involved in ZIKAlliance, reflecting the consortium’s multi-disciplinary nature. I am also pleased to acknowledge that all partners have committed to following the consortium's publication procedures, guaranteeing a smooth and effective submission process.
I hope you will enjoy reading the ZIKAlliance newsletter.

Best wishes,

Prof. Xavier de Lamballerie
ZIKAlliance Scientific Coordinator
ZIKAlliance project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme under Grant Agreement N.734548
ZIKAlliance Kick-off Meeting in Brazil

December 4-5, 2016
Hosted by University of Sao Paulo Medical School at the Centro de Convenções Rebouças ZIKAlliance, the multinational and multidisciplinary consortium coordinated by INSERM, and created in response to a Horizon 2020 funding call by the European Commission’s Directorate-General Research and Innovation, has officially started its activities with the kick-off meeting held in Brazil over the 4th and 5th December 2016.

15th International Dengue Course and ZIKAlliance WP1 meeting to be held in Cuba next August

March 2, 2017
The ‘Pedro Kourí’ Tropical Medicine Institute (IPK) – an institution partner of ZIKAlliance – has co-organised the 15th International Dengue Course, to be held at Havana, Cuba, between 7-18 August. During the event, IPK will also host a WP1 satellite meeting to discuss progress on ZIKAlliance. Work Package No. 1 is dedicated to clinical research and its main focus is on clinical science, epidemiology, and modelling.

Meeting of WP6 partners within the ZIKAlliance consortium

On 30-31 January 2017, the 16 members of the ZIKAlliance Work Package No. 6 (Vectors & vectors control) met at the Institut Pasteur (France) to discuss some of the practical details involving the organisation of mosquito collection in the field. This focused on tropical regions affected by ZIKV cases and in Europe during the relevant season (the period between May and November). The meeting led to a very fruitful discussion around important topics on the agenda, such as the estimation of ZIKV infections in field-collected mosquitoes, the measurement of vector competence towards several Zika viruses, the analysis of the interactions of ZIKV with other arboviruses, and mosquito control using conventional and innovative tools.

Human Sciences Against Zika

On 30 March 2017, FioCruz hosted the seminar “Zika, Social Sciences and Humanities" in Brazil. The meeting, the first one for the Work Package No. 7 (Social sciences), gathered researchers from international institutions to discuss the social aspects of the disease, such as the effects of campaigns and sexual rights.

Follow us on Twitter for the latest updates on ZIKAlliance at @ZIKAlliance


Cross-Consortia Meeting: University of Heidelberg
An important part of the collaborative work undertaken by ZIKAction, ZIKAlliance and ZikaPLAN is the harmonization of the multicentre cohort studies and the identification of both common and consortia-specific variables. A cross-consortia meeting was held to discuss these questions at the University of Heidelberg on February 21-23, 2017. The objective of this meeting was to work towards the harmonization of data sets via the discussion of case report forms and to develop a data sharing road map for the pregnant women cohort studies and the children cohorts. (Photo: Dr. Claire Thorne)

ZikaPLAN and ZIKAlliance working together on Mathematical Modeling for Zika
ZikaPLAN hosted ZIKAlliance modelers and funded a 2-day workshop on April 3 & 4, 2017 at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM). The meeting concluded with an action plan for common projects between ZIKAlliance and ZikaPLAN, and a follow-up meeting was planned for September 19, 2017, at the LSHTM.

A modernized, integrated approach to killing Zika vectors
A new study produced by ZikaPLAN researchers, in collaboration with ZIKAlliance, highlights a fantastic opportunity for the effective and sustained control of Zika vectors. The study demonstrates profound public health impact through the strategic integration of two state-of-the-art technologies: the release of genetically sterilised mosquitoes (called ‘RIDL’ – Release of Insects carrying Dominant Lethal genes) followed by the release of Aedes mosquitoes made resistant to Zika virus through infection with (harmless) Wolbachia bacteria.

Risk of microcephaly after Zika virus infection in Brazil, 2015 to 2016
Thomas Jaenisch, Kerstin Daniela Rosenberger, Carlos Brito, Oliver Brady, Patrícia Brasil & Ernesto TA Marques
Bulletin of the World Health Organization, March 10, 2017

Substrate selectivity of Dengue and Zika virus NS5 polymerase towards 2'-modified nucleotide analogues
Supanee Potisopon, François Ferron, Veronique Fattorini, Barbara Selisko, Bruno Canard
Antiviral Research, February 21, 2017

Zika Virus Methyltransferase: Structure and Functions for Drug Design Perspectives
Bruno Coutard, Karine Barral, Julie Lichière, Barbara Selisko, Baptiste Martin, Wahiba Aouadi, Miguel Ortiz Lombardia, Françoise Debart, Jean-Jacques Vasseur, Jean Claude Guillemot, Bruno Canard, Etienne Decroly
Journal of Virology, February 21, 2017

Zika virus causes supernumerary foci with centriolar proteins and impaired spindle positioning
Benita Wolf, Fodé Diop, Pauline Ferraris, Sineewanlaya Wichit, Coralie Busso, Dorothée Missé, Pierre Gönczy
Open Biology, January 18, 2017

African and Asian Zika virus strains differentially induce early antiviral responses in primary human astrocytes
Rodolphe Hamel, Pauline Ferraris, Sineewanlaya Wichit, Fodé Diop, Loïc Talignani, Julien Pompon, Déborah Garcia, Florian Liégeois, Amadou A. Sall, Hans Yssel, Dorothée Missé
Infections, Genetics, and Evolution, January 14, 2017

Zika virus in asymptomatic blood donors in Martinique
Pierre Gallian, André Cabié, Pascale Richard, Laure Paturel, Rémi N. Charrel, Boris Pastorino, Isabelle Leparc-Goffart, Pierre Tiberghien and Xavier de Lamballerie
Blood, January 12, 2017

AXL mediates Zika virus entry in human glial cells and modulates innate immune responses
Laurent Meertens, Athena Labeau, Ophelie Dejarnac, Sara Cipriani, Laura Sinigaglia, Lucie Bonnet-Madin, Tifenn Le Charpentier, Mohamed Lamine Hafirassou, Alessia Zamborlini, Van-Mai Cao-Lormeau, Muriel Coulpier, Dorothée Missé, Nolwenn Jouvenet, Ray Tabibiazar, Pierre Gressens, Olivier Schwartz, Ali Amara
Cell Reports, January 11, 2017

Simple reverse genetics systems for Asian and African Zika viruses
Thérèse Atieh, Cécile Baronti, Xavier de Lamballerie, & Antoine Nougairède
Scientific Reports, December 19, 2016

Zika and other emerging viruses: aiming at the right target
Kai Dallmeier and Johan Neyts
Cell Host & Microbe, October12, 2016

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