The University of California Zika Virus Project – Updates

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The University of California Zika Virus Project – Updates 2017-02-07T18:20:31+00:00

7 Feb 2016 – In the Spring of 2016, we infected 2 nonpregnant females with Brazilian ZIKV and monitored them for 2 weeks to look at viral kinetics and distribution. The data and methods were published in February 2017 (click here)

In addition, we initiated a study in which we infected 4 pregnant dams with ZIKV and monitored them frequently. Fetuses were harvested at the end of pregnancy. Data analysis is ongoing. – Koen

23 Sept 2016 – Phase 1 analyses have been completed and we’re working on a manuscript.  Phase 2 analyses continue.  Moving forward, we’ll post updates here when we have them.

12 May 2016 – Detailed analysis of the samples from Phase 1 continues.  We have now been able to show that ZIKV RNA persists in some tissues, 14 days following inoculation.  In particular, ZIKV RNA persists in spleen and lymph nodes.

8 April 2016 – This week, we continued processing samples from our first ZIKV study (what we call ZIKV-01).  We’ve posted a figure detailing the concentration of viral plaque forming units (PFUs) for days 1-4 post inoculation with Brazilian ZIKV.

We’ll have some additional data posted soon on blood samples taken over the course of the two week experiment.  Tissue processing is ongoing as well to determine what parts of the body ZIKV infects.

On Monday of this week, we started the next study (what we call ZIKV-02).  We inoculated two pregnant female monkeys with Brazilian ZIKV.  Both animals (ZIKV-02-C and ZIKV-02-D) are doing really well – neither have a fever or other symptoms and both are eating normally.  We’ll get their data posted as soon as possible.

Moving forward, we will be posting updates at the end of each week.  So, make sure to check in on Fridays! – Eliza

30 Mar 2016 – Data confirming that the animals were infected with ZIKV is now available. Animal ZIKV-01-A had detectable ZIKV RNA in her serum in Days 1-4 following inoculation.  Animal ZIKV-01-B had detectable ZIKV RNA in her serum on Days 1-3 following inoculation. Note that neither animal ever developed a fever during the course of infection.

We’re also actively working on a system for getting data publicized more quickly.  LabKey has generously offered us server space to generate a website much like the team at University of Wisconsin is using.  Thanks for sticking with us as we sort out the best way to publicize our results quickly.  – Eliza

19 Mar 2016 – The first results indicate the animals are infected. Stay tuned as we’ll be uploading more details next week.  We’re also exploring a switch to a more user-friendly system to show up-to-date results. -Koen

16 Mar 2016 – Today marks the official start of our experiment.  This morning we inoculated two adult female rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta) with 10^5 PFU of the Brazilian ZIKV isolate.  Animal ZIKV-01-A was inoculated at  0935 and Animal ZIKV-01-B was inoculated at 1012.  ZIKV-01-A is 12 years and 10 months old and weighs 8.29 kg. ZIKV-01-B is 10 years and 10 months old and weighs 8.46 kg. Our team is the first team using the Brazilian virus. The fact that different groups are using different strains of virus is very important because it appears that the Brazilian strain may have different neural consequences compared to the other strains. As other groups are testing other strains in macaques, sharing and comparing our results will speed up the development of appropriate interventions to address the epidemics in the different countries. -Eliza

11 Mar 2016; 16:25 – Our subjects have tested negative for West Nile Virus.  See our methods for more information about why this is important. -Eliza

11 Mar 2016; 15:30 – We’re starting to get a lot of inquires about the methods that we’re using from other groups beginning their own Zika virus projects.  Rather than post information on methods here, as originally intended, we’ve created a new page where we’ll chronicle the method details. If you are running a Zika project and want further details, please contact a member of the team. -Eliza

10 Mar 2016 – Lots of developments this morning. We received Brazilian Zika virus and have selected the two adult female macaques that will be the first study subjects.  Our housing and laboratory spaces have been approved by the campus environmental health and safety team. That means that we’ll be able to relocate the monkeys to their new homes this week in preparation for the start of the study next week. -Eliza

9 Mar 2016 – It’s official! The team has received a CNPRC Pilot Project grant to fund the initial phase of the research. -Eliza

8 Mar 2016 – We’ve gotten word that we will be able to start our study sometime next week! Stay tuned for more details as we get it off of the ground. -Eliza

25 Feb 2016 – We received notice today that our project has been approved by the UC Davis Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC).  We’re in the process of setting the housing rooms up (ensuring they are mosquito proof) and waiting for virus.  We’re hoping we’ll be ready to start the project next week.  Stay-tuned here for updates! -Eliza

Glossary
ZIKV – Zika virus

To read more about the project please see our Project Overview.

To access publicly available data, please see our Project Data.

To access details about the methods that we’re using, please see our Project Methods.