Arthropod-borne viruses comprise many of the most important emerging pathogens due to their geographic expansion and their increasing impact on vulnerable populations. In 2015, Zika virus (ZIKV) became the newest emerging public health threat, with resultant Guillain-Barré and microcephaly. Grenada is currently undergoing a large ZIKV outbreak and our group has collected survey data and serum from approximately 400 individuals. We propose to determine the true incidence of ZIKV compared to chikungunya and dengue viruses in Grenada, and identify the demographic and ecological drivers for ZIKV transmission and disease using the stored data and samples and further ongoing collections. Serum collected from participants will be tested by ELISA and PCR to document acute ZIKV infection and characterize the spectrum of disease, severity and impact of ZIKV in Grenada. A separate cohort of 500 pregnant women will be followed to determine factors associated with mother to child transmission of ZIKV and the long-term consequences of congenital ZIKV disease. In particular, those with and without prior DENV infection will be compared to determine if previous DENV exposure alters resultant Zika disease. This information will provide crucial data to determine the full spectrum and medical sequelae from ZIKV in a naïve population.
Funding for this research is provided by the Stanford University School of Medicine Child Health Research Institute (CHRI) Grant