The ZIKAHOST study aims to describe the Zika virus (ZIKV) infection taking into account the host, in this case humans, instead of the pathogen, which would be the zika virus, and we search for biomarkers of the increased likelihood of developing the disease, diagnosis and prognosis through a genomic approach. What this means is that we look at DNA to see if we could understand if patients can be genetically predisposed to develop typical ZIKV effects.
The study analysed 80 DNA samples from 40 mother and child pairs. The mothers had suffered ZIKV infection during pregnancy, 20 of the children born developed typical aftereffects associated with ZIKV, while the other 20 remained asymptomatic.
Overall, our study showed three genes in the children’s cohort which could explain some of the most important features of the Congenital Zika Syndrome. Specifically, PIDD1 was found to be related to microcephaly (small head circumference), while PANO1 and SLC25A22 were related to early infantile epilepsy. No significant genes were found in the mother’s cohort.
The Spanish Society of Pediatric Infectious Diseases has positioned itself as an influential speciality society within the Spanish Association of Pediatrics, based on its broad contribution towards science, its stable number of partners and impact and presence in the media. It is among the most important paediatric infectious diseases meetings in Latin-American countries. Presenting our research at such an event has allowed us to gain visibility and work towards establishing future collaborations for the replication of our studies in other cohorts.