Field validation of the performance of paper-based tests for the detection of the Zika and chikungunya viruses in serum samplesby Margot Karlikow et al.
In low-resource settings, resilience to infectious disease outbreaks can be hindered by limited access to diagnostic tests. Here we report the results of double-blinded studies of the performance of paper-based diagnostic tests for the Zika and chikungunya viruses in a field setting in Latin America. The tests involved a cell-free expression system relying on isothermal amplification and toehold-switch reactions, a purpose-built portable reader and onboard software for computer vision-enabled image analysis. In patients suspected of infection, the accuracies and sensitivities of the tests for the Zika and chikungunya viruses were, respectively, 98.5% (95% confidence interval, 96.2–99.6%, 268 serum samples) and 98.5% (95% confidence interval, 91.7–100%, 65 serum samples) and approximately 2 aM and 5 fM (both concentrations are within clinically relevant ranges). The analytical specificities and sensitivities of the tests for cultured samples of the viruses were equivalent to those of the real-time quantitative PCR. Cell-free synthetic biology tools and companion hardware can provide de-centralized, high-capacity and low-cost diagnostics for use in low-resource settings.
*Portuguese content* Com objetivo de avaliar como as famílias dessas crianças foram impactadas, a pesquisa Impactos econômicos e sociais do vírus Zika foi realizada no IFF-Fiocruz, hospital público federal situado no Rio de Janeiro, que atua em ensino, pesquisa e atendimento a mulheres, crianças e adolescentes.
Within the Zika virus (ZIKV) research community, a new and remarkable kind of collaboration is taking placeby EU Zika Consortia
Successful technology transfer of a Zika vaccine developed by Institut Pasteur Shanghai-Chinese Academy of Sciences (IPS-CAS) to Chongqing Zhifei Biological Products Co., Ltd.by ZIKAlliance
Institut Pasteur Shanghai-Chinese Academy of Sciences (IPS-CAS), a partner of the ZIKAlliance consortium, announced that it has entered into a collaborative research agreement with Chongqing Zhifei Biological Products Stock Co., Ltd. (Zhifei) for the clinical studies and commercialization of a recombinant Zika virus subunit vaccine developed by IPS-CAS.
The key message from this study is that the large uncertainty around the risk estimate needs to be further investigated because of a) the possible existence of co-factors that are yet to be validated, b) the assumptions that the authors needed to make in the absence of good data for the proportion of women who were infected during pregnancy.
This pioneering study provides a precise follow-up of incident cases and seroprevalence in blood donors, and it also provides important insights into the management of blood donations during ZIKV outbreaks and into the natural history of ZIKV infection in adults. It suggests that the study of blood donors during outbreaks of emerging pathogens has become a key element of epidemiological surveillance.
A study performed by the Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale (INSERM) team of Dr Ali Amara (U944, Paris, France) and published in Cell Reports sheds new light on the mechanisms allowing ZIKV to infect cells within the human nervous system. Amara et al. showed that the protein Axl is expressed in a number of brain glial cells and that the entry of ZIKV into these cells requires another protein, Gas6, to act as a bridge between the ZIKV particles and the glial cells.
The Zika virus appears to have emerged from nowhere, causing widespread health concerns throughout the world after decades of relative silence.