BELOW IS A TIMELINE OF OUR ACCOMPLISHMENTS AND CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE FIGHT AGAINST THE ZIKA VIRUS. THE ZIKA RESPONSE GROUP, GOING AT THIS 24/7 HAS DONE AMAZING WORK AND HAVE MADE A DIFFERENCE: AND MOST OF IT HAS BEEN A VOLUNTEER EFFORT. THE GOOD NEWS IS THAT WE AREN'T FINISHED YET- SO KEEP CHECKING BACK FOR MORE DISCOVERIES, INSIGHTS AND MAYBE EVEN FURTHER DEVELOPMENT OF AN ANTI-VIRAL DRUG THAT COULD SAVE LIVES!
Zika Response Working Group have produced a white paper, that was submitted in January to Government Officials at the highest levels.
A member of the group, Dr. Robert Malone has discovered a class of drugs that act as anti-virals against Zika Virus, and which are safe for pregnant women. The World Health Organization has advocated these drugs to be developed as a first defense for pregnant women!
For more information, please contact Dr. Malone directly at email@example.com or go to www.atheric.com (a company set up to develop these anti-viral drugs).
A member of the Zika Response Working Group, Dr. Malone participated in a consultation in Genevea at the World Health Organization to present a TPP on anti-viral drugs against the Zika Virus.
The Zika Response Working Group have published a peer reviewed paper in PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases.
PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2016 Mar 2;10(3):e0004530. doi: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0004530. eCollection 2016.
Zika Virus: Medical Countermeasure Development Challenges.
Malone RW1,2, Homan J3, Callahan MV4, Glasspool-Malone J1,2, Damodaran L5, Schneider Ade B5, Zimler R6, Talton J7, Cobb RR7, Ruzic I8, Smith-Gagen J9,Janies D5, Wilson J10; Zika Response Working Group.
Reports of high rates of primary microcephaly and Guillain-Barré syndrome associated with Zika virus infection in French Polynesia and Brazil have raised concerns that the virus circulating in these regions is a rapidly developing neuropathic, teratogenic, emerging infectious public health threat. There are no licensed medical countermeasures (vaccines, therapies or preventive drugs) available for Zika virus infection and disease. The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) predicts that Zika virus will continue to spread and eventually reach all countries and territories in the Americas with endemic Aedes mosquitoes. This paper reviews the status of the Zika virus outbreak, including medical countermeasure options, with a focus on how the epidemiology, insect vectors, neuropathology, virology and immunology inform options and strategies available for medicalcountermeasure development and deployment.
Multiple information sources were employed to support the review. These included publically available literature, patents, official communications, English and Lusophone lay press. Online surveys were distributed to physicians in the US, Mexico and Argentina and responses analyzed. Computational epitope analysis as well as infectious disease outbreak modeling and forecasting were implemented. Field observations in Brazil were compiled and interviews conducted with public health officials.
Dr. Jane Homan and other members of our group have completed computational epitope analysis of Zika and comparative epitope analysis of related viruses [(Dengue virus (Den), Yellow Fever virus (YF), and West Nile virus (WN)] and the human proteome. A paper has been submitted on this work to PLoS NTD. The preprint, found here is before.
Antibody mediated epitope mimicry in the pathogenesis of Zika virus related disease
Jane Homan, Robert W Malone, Steven J Darnell, Robert D Bremel
The association of Guillain-Barré syndrome with Zika virus infection raises suspicion of autoimmunity in the pathogenesis of Zika associated disease. Using computational analysis to identify predicted B and T cell epitopes, we assessed whether antibodies elicited by B cell epitopes in Zika virus may also target B cell epitopes in the human proteome. We detected amino acid motifs predicted to be B cell epitopes in Zika virus proteins which are also present in human proteins, including pro-neuropeptide Y (proNPY), NAV2 and other proteins with interacting neurophysiologic function. We examine the predicted MHC binding of peptides likely to provide T cell help to the potential mimic epitopes. Some potential mimic epitopes in Zika virus envelope have apparently strong T cell help, likely facilitating immunoglobulin class switch. We also identify epitope mimic commonalities with dengue serotypes 1 and 3. We hypothesize that antibodies to Zika virus epitopes may contribute to the pathogenesis of Zika-associated Guillain-Barré syndrome, microcephaly, and ocular lesions, and may be a driver of autoimmunity. The risk associated with responses to potential epitope mimics must be addressed in the development of vaccines and therapeutics for Zika virus infections.
Dr. Daniel Janies at UNC and other members of our group are developing Infectious disease outbreak modeling, RNA virus modelling and forecasting for Zika Virus. A Manuscript is about to be submitted on this work.
Dr. Jim Wilson and other members of our group has successfully surveyed physicians in the US, Mexico and Argentina via on-line tools, on the Zika Virus. A paper is about to be subitted on this work
Zika Virus Disease: A Simple Model Approach to Rapid Impact Assessment
James Wilson, Robert Malone, Julie Smith Gagen, Roman Pabayo, Zika Response Working Group
Click here for a link to the preprint
Dr. Robert Malone, MD, MS will be conducting a round table discussion on Zika virus: Challenges for medical countermeasure development at the World Vaccine Congress on March 29th, 2016. Click here for a link to the schedule.