Feb, 2018

What we know and what we don’t know about perinatal Zika virus infection: a systematic review

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Authors: Soriano-Arandes A, Rivero-Calle I, Nastouli E, et al.

Published inExpert Rev Anti Infect Ther. 2018;16(3):243-254

Introduction: Zika virus (ZIKV) infection has caused the most challenging worldwide infectious epidemic outbreak in recent months. ZIKV causes microcephaly and other congenital malformations. There is a need to perform updated systematic reviews on ZIKV infection periodically because this epidemic is bringing up new evidence with extraordinary speed.

Areas covered: Evidence related to ZIKV infection in the gestational, perinatal, and early infant periods covering epidemiology, virology, pathogenesis, risk factors, time of infection during pregnancy, newborn symptoms, treatment, and vaccines. To this end, a search was performed using terms [‘Zika’] AND [‘Perinatal Infection’] OR [‘Congenital Infection’] in the PubMed® international electronic database. Out of a total of 1,538 articles published until 30 November 2017, we finally assessed 106 articles articles that were relevant to the research areas included in this study.

Expert commentary: ZIKV is a new teratogenic/neurotropic virus affecting fetuses. Many challenges are still far from being solved regarding the epidemiology, case definition, clinical and laboratory diagnosis, and preventive measures. An approach using ‘omics’ and new biomarkers for diagnosis, and a ZIKV-vaccine for treatment, might finally give us the tools to solve these challenges.


Nov, 2017

ZIKAction: approval of the Congenital Microcephaly Case-Control Study protocol

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On November 7th, 2017, the Ethics Committee of the Universidad Central del Ecuador formally approved the ZIKAction Congenital Microcephaly Case-Control Study protocol. This prospective study, focused on estimating the risk of congenital microcephaly associated with Zika virus, dengue or chikungunya infection, will be led by Dra. Greta Miño from Hospital del Niño Francisco Icaza Bustamante of Guayaquil and Dr. Toni Soriano from University Hospital Vall d’Hebron in Barcelona as co-lead of the ZIKA-PED work package.


Nov, 2017

Great news from Gainesville, FL (US): the 2° Consortium meeting of our ZIKAction project was a success!

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On November 2nd-3rd, the ZIKAction Consortium met for its annual general meeting, which was held at the Emerging Pathogens Institute at the University of Florida.

About 70 scientists from 18 countries attended this two-day meeting, which was an outstanding opportunity to assess the work done so far and to explore future perspective for collaboration.

It was memorable to have Mario Monti, Former EU Commissioner and Prime Minister of Italy between 2011-2013 among our speakers.

See a short report on the ZIKAction website and an article in the American newspaper


Nov, 2016

The ZIKAction Kick-Off Meeting was a success!


The ZIKAction Kick-Off Meeting was held in Kingston, Jamaica at the University of West Indies from October 30th to November 1st.


Thank you all for coming!!

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 734857.


Oct, 2016

PENTA Foundation coordinated ZIKAction consortium


PENTA Foundation coordinated ZIKAction consortium awarded €7 million EU H2020 grant to combat Zika virus and other emerging infectious disease outbreaks

The ZIKAction consortium (Preparedness, research and action network on maternal-paediatric axis of Zika virus infection in Latin America and the Caribbean), coordinated by the PENTA Foundation, is set to receive a €7 million, five-year grant from the European Union through the Horizon 2020 programme’s recent call for research to combat Zika virus (ZIKV) and other emerging infections transmitted by mosquitoes in Latin America. This award is one of three issued under this Horizon 2020 call, totalling €30 million in funding.

Composed of 14 partners across Latin America, the Caribbean, North America and Europe, the ZIKAction consortium includes experts in infectious disease, virology, neonatology and epidemiology. ZIKAction will conduct an interdisciplinary programme of research studies to address key knowledge gaps related to ZIKV epidemiology, natural history and pathogenesis, focussing on maternal and child health. This will include multi-site prospective cohort studies of pregnant women with ZIKV infection and their infants in Brazil, Jamaica, Haiti and Costa Rica, to elucidate the timing and mechanisms of vertical transmission of ZIKV and to investigate burden and natural history of congenital and acquired paediatric ZIKV infection. Novel diagnostic methodologies will be developed and validated within the network, and studies conducted to increase understanding of the pathogenesis of ZIKV vertical transmission and the development of microcephaly and other fetal brain abnormalities.

Activities will leverage the experience and expertise of the PENTA-ID network and other key partners in conducting studies on other congenital infections, including HIV, building strong collaborations in regions heavily impacted by the Zika virus to provide the information essential to confront the current epidemic. ZIKAction will collaborate with the two other H2020-funded ZIKV research consortia (ZIKAlliance and Zika PLAN) to develop a Latin-American and Caribbean network for emerging infectious diseases preparedness and response, as well as with activities of the Global Research Collaboration for Infectious Disease Preparedness (GloPID-R).

The grant is expected to be signed next week.

More info
EU response to the outbreak of the Zika Virus Disease
EU-funded research on Zika

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 734857.


Jan, 2013

Adherence to antiretroviral therapy and acceptability of planned treatment interruptions in HIV-infected children

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Authors: Harrison L, Ananworanich J, Hamadache D, et al; on Behalf of the Paediatric European Network for Treatment of AIDS (PENTA) 11 Trial Team

Published in: AIDS Behav. 2013;17(1):193-202.

Abstract There have been no paediatric randomised trials describing the effect of planned treatment interruptions (PTIs) of antiretroviral therapy (ART) on adherence, or evaluating acceptability of such a strategy. In PENTA 11, HIV-infected children were randomised to CD4-guided PTIs (n = 53) or continuous therapy (CT, n = 56). Carers, and children if appropriate, completed questionnaires on adherence to ART and acceptability of PTIs. There was no difference in reported adherence on ART between CT and PTI groups; non-adherence (reporting missed doses over the last 3 days or marking <100 % adherence since the last clinical visit on a visual analogue scale) was 18 % (20/111) and 14 % (12/83) on carer questionnaires in the CT and PTI groups respectively (odds ratios, OR (95 % CI) = 1.04 (0.20, 5.41), χ(2) (1) = 0.003, p = 0.96). Carers in Europe/USA reported non-adherence more often (31/121, 26 %) than in Thailand (1/73, 1 %; OR (95 % CI) = 54.65 (3.68, 810.55), χ(2) (1) = 8.45, p = 0.004). The majority of families indicated they were happy to have further PTIs (carer: 23/36, 64 %; children: 8/13, 62 %), however many reported more clinic visits during PTI were a problem (carer: 15/36, 42 %; children: 6/12, 50 %).


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