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Training Years: 2015-2016

Training Site: Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Nicaragua, (UNAN), León

Country: Nicaragua

Mentors: Aravinda de Silva, PhD; Sylvia Becker-Dreps, MD, MPH; Samuel Vilchez, PhD

Title: Laboratory diagnostics to track Zika emergence and delineate risk for transmission

Project Objectives: Use RT-PCR to detect individuals acutely infected with ZIKV. These individuals will be prospectively followed to address the following specific aims.

Aim 1:  ZIKV has been reported to be present in blood, saliva, urine and semen. We will determine the kinetics and frequency with which ZIKV is shed in different body fluids. These studies are directly relevant to estimating the potential for non-vector transmission of ZIKV.

Aim 2:  We currently do not understand how the specificity of the human antibody response evolves in naïve and flavivirus immune individuals exposed to ZIKV infection. We will describe the binding and functional properties antibodies that develop following acute ZIKV infection with a special focus on identifying responses that distinguish ZIKV from responses to other flaviviruses.

NIH Support:  Fogarty scholars doctoral training award

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