The Antwerp Institute of Tropical Medicine (ITM) and the KU Leuven are part of a group of international organisations that will carry out Zika research with funding from the European Union. Last Friday (21 October 2016), the European Commission announced it made 45 million euro available for research into the Zika virus and other infectious diseases spread by mosquitoes.
One of the three funded research consortia is ZikaPLAN (Zika Preparedness Latin American Network) which, besides ITM and KU Leuven, comprises 23 other institutions. The EU reserves a total of 11.5 million euro for ZikaPLAN.
ITM will focus on the sexual transmission of the Zika virus and more rapid diagnostics of infections. ITM researchers try to get a clear picture of how long the Zika virus remains present in sperm. During this period infection via sexual contact is a possibility. The mosquito that carries the Zika virus is not present in Europe, which is why there can be no doubt about the way of containment during such a study in our region.
- Read more in the press release of the ZikaPLAN consortium
- Read more about the European Commission’s Zika funding
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