ZIKAlliance is a multinational and multi-disciplinary research consortium coordinated by Inserm, the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research. The consortium was awarded €11,9M by the European Union's Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme in October 2016, to conduct a 36-month cutting-edge research project during the ongoing outbreak of Zika virus infection (ZIKV) in Latin America and the Caribbean.
The consortium, which is coordinated by leading virologist Prof. Xavier de Lamballerie (Inserm, IRD, Aix-Marseille University), includes the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz), the Universities of Heidelberg, Leuven, and Oxford, Erasmus Medical Center, the Leiden University Medical Center, the University of Bonn Medical Centre, Fundação Bahiana de Infectologia, and Institut Pasteur among its 54 partners, located in 18 countries.
In a global effort to combat what is a global threat that has affected 73 countries and territories worldwide (WHO Zika Situation Report, 13 October 2016), the consortium, which spreads over 4 continents, brings together numerous academic disciplines to address four key objectives.
While large medical cohorts will be studied in Latin America and the Caribbean, European leading research institutions will contribute outstanding basic research programmes – and partners in Africa, Asia, and Polynesia will be part of the intercontinental epidemiological studies planned within ZIKAlliance.
“We have managed to gather a very broad range of partners whose experiences are likely to make this project a success” says de Lamballerie, adding that “rather than parachuting in external research capacity, we really aim to build something more sustainable to benefit the region for future outbreaks”.
ZIKAlliance project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme under Grant Agreement N.734548.
A link to the press release published by the European Commission in relation to the three projects is available here.
Twelve Work Packages have been designed to address the 4 key objectives, as summarised in the figure below (this includes WP10, 11 & 12 in common with ZikaPLAN and ZIKAction). A 13th one has been added on request by the European Commission in order to set out the “ethics requirements” the project must comply with.