Zika: Zika in Colombia: Characterisation of exposure and epidemiology in a flavivirus endemic setting

Lead Research Organisation: Imperial College London

Abstract

Abstracts are not currently available in GtR for all funded research. This is normally because the abstract was not required at the time of proposal submission, but may be because it included sensitive information such as personal details.

Technical Summary

Following the large-scale epidemic in Brazil in 2015, Zika continues to spread across Latin America. However, our understanding of the transmission dynamics and epidemiology of this new threat remains poor. In particular we have limited information on the extent of population exposure: many infections remain asymptomatic or cause mild disease which can easily be misdiagnosed, while antibody cross-reactivity between flaviviruses make the results of serological testing difficult to interpret given much of the region is endemic for dengue.
With 31.000 cases reported by Feb 2016 (4 months after the first case was diagnosed), Colombia is currently the second most affected country. Our proposal seeks to characterise the epidemiology of Zika in Colombia and establish a Colombia-focussed research network of partners with complementary expertise.
We will install state-of-the-art serological testing facilities in Colombia and conduct serological surveys in four cities with varying levels of dengue transmission intensity and reported Zika case incidence. We will develop statistical models to analyse age-stratified flavivirus seroprevalence data in a context where multiple flaviviruses co-circulate. These will allow us to characterise the force of infection, attack rate and transmissibility of Zika. We will then use these estimates to assess current levels of herd immunity to Zika thus predict possible future attack rates. Finally, we will estimate the proportion of infections which are asymptomatic and the per-infection risk of severe outcomes (e.g. microcephaly).
The outputs from this project will be of immediate value in enabling improved situational awareness and in informing the development of evidence-based control strategies.

Publications

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Ferguson NM (2016) EPIDEMIOLOGY. Countering the Zika epidemic in Latin America. in Science (New York, N.Y.)

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Lessler J (2016) Assessing the global threat from Zika virus. in Science (New York, N.Y.)

 
Description Memorandum of Understanding with National Institute of Health 
Organisation National Institute of Health
Country Colombia 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Commitment to cooperative working and exchange of research in public health and education activities in science and technology.
Collaborator Contribution Commitment to cooperative working and exchange of research in public health and education activities in science and technology.
Impact Kelly Charniga funded by Imperial President Scholarship
Start Year 2017
 
Description Zika - Institut Pasteur 
Organisation Pasteur Institute, Paris
Country France 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Investigators from the MRC Centre for Outbreak Analysis and Modelling designed the collaboration and are now overseeing it.
Collaborator Contribution Training of lab techniques and provision of reagents.
Impact Too early to report
Start Year 2016
 
Description Zika - University of Santander 
Organisation Industrial University of Santander
Country Colombia 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Investigators from the MRC Centre for Outbreak Analysis and Modelling designed the collaboration and are now overseeing it.
Collaborator Contribution Serological surveys, fieldwork, and testing.
Impact Too early to report
Start Year 2016
 
Description Zika - University of Wisconsin 
Organisation University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Country United States 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Investigators from the MRC Centre for Outbreak Analysis and Modelling designed the collaboration and are now overseeing it.
Collaborator Contribution Serological surveys, fieldwork, and testing.
Impact too early to report
Start Year 2016
 
Description Zika Collaboration - 2015 
Organisation Industrial University of Santander
Country Colombia 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Modelling of the Zika virus to characterise the transmission dynamics of the first wave of Zika in Colombia
Collaborator Contribution Epidemiological research on flaviviruses
Impact Forthcoming
Start Year 2016
 
Description Zika in Columbia: early characterisation of epidemiological potential 
Organisation Industrial University of Santander
Country Colombia 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Analyse data
Collaborator Contribution Processing of samples, serosurveys and analysing data
Impact DOI: 10.1126/science.aag0219
Start Year 2016
 
Description Zika in Columbia: early characterisation of epidemiological potential 
Organisation Johns Hopkins University
Country United States 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Analyse data
Collaborator Contribution Processing of samples, serosurveys and analysing data
Impact DOI: 10.1126/science.aag0219
Start Year 2016
 
Description Zika in Columbia: early characterisation of epidemiological potential 
Organisation Pasteur Institute, Paris
Department Laboratory for Urgent Response to Biological Threats
Country France 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution Analyse data
Collaborator Contribution Processing of samples, serosurveys and analysing data
Impact DOI: 10.1126/science.aag0219
Start Year 2016
 
Description Zika in Columbia: early characterisation of epidemiological potential 
Organisation University of Wisconsin-Madison
Department Department of Pathobiological Sciences
Country United States 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Analyse data
Collaborator Contribution Processing of samples, serosurveys and analysing data
Impact DOI: 10.1126/science.aag0219
Start Year 2016
 
Description Abingdon School - Careers evening 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Mixed group
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Chagas-Symposium-IC 18: "How can modelling contribute to achieving the goals for Chagas disease in the horizon 2020 and beyond?" 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Chagas disease remains as a major cause of heart disease morbidity and mortality in Latin American countries. In the last three decades, most endemic countries have made great strides towards the control of Chagas disease by implementing mainly vector and blood transfusion control. However, the impact of such interventions has, by and large, not been rigorously quantified, and questions remain as how to address old and new challenges as countries progress towards the goals proposed by the World Health Organization (WHO) in the horizon 2020 and beyond. These goals aim to achieve interruption of intra-domiciliary (vectorial) transmission in all endemic countries and to have all infected/ill patients under care. However, estimates of the current status of intra-domiciliary transmission and burden of disease in endemic countries remain poorly documented, making it difficult to ascertain progress, identify areas that need strengthening, and make programmatic decisions about deploying the most cost-effective interventions.
The Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology at Imperial College London in collaboration with Princeton University and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) is convening a symposium funded by the Neglected Tropical Disease Modelling Consortium to define overarching challenges and research priorities, explore opportunities, develop collaborations, and build strategies towards a research agenda for rigorous mathematical modelling to help measure and inform progress on control and elimination of Chagas disease in Latin America.
Specifically, discussions will be centred around the theme of how can mathematical models help to highlight country programme priorities and measure the progress made, and how can endemic countries help to inform the models and make best use of them to plan, deploy and evaluate country-specific and cost-effective interventions.
The meeting will bring together representatives of international organizations, scientific researchers, programme managers, non-government and non-profit organizations, industry partners, government representatives, and community stakeholders to identify and articulate opportunities for long-term, impactful, and country-relevant collaborative research.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL http://www.chagas.co.uk
 
Description Cosy Science - CafĂ© Scientifque - Zika virus (Pierre) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact A public talk/café scientifique on the zika virus transmission and epidemiology
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Glasgow Science Festival 2017 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Glasgow Science Festival, Glasgow, Scotland
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Short Course in Bogota: Epidemics Analysis, Modelling and Response 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The course will provide an introduction to modelling and statistical techniques for analysing infectious disease epidemics. The methods presented will include tools for visualising epicurves, estimating transmissibility, deriving short term predictions of incidence, modelling infectious disease dynamics and assessing the impact of intervention strategies. The course will consist of lectures during the mornings and hands-on practical in the afternoon. All practicals will be using the R software. A basic knowledge of R will be assumed from the participants. The entirety of the course and teaching material will be in English. A certificate of attendance will be delivered upon completion of the course.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://epicoursebogota.netlify.com/
 
Description WISDOM - Women in Science Doing Outstanding Mathematics 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Girls and accompanying adults
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description William Guy Lecturer - Royal Statistical Society 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact William Guy Lecturer for Royal Statistical Society 2016-17 - "Statisctics and Epidemiology, how numbers help to control diseases". Talks in schools and other events in UK and US
Abingdon Prep School,Frilford, Oxfordshire
Henry Box School, Whitney, Oxfordshire
Mishawaka High School, Mishawaka, Indiana
Walt Disney School, Mishawaka, Indiana
Beal High School (Redbridge), Ilford, Essex
Abingdon School (and invitations to St Helen and St Katharine girls school), Abingdon, Oxfordshire
Kingston University
Northern Ireland Science Festival, Belfast
Wycombe High School, High Wycombe
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016,2017,2018
URL http://www.rss.org.uk/Images/PDF/influencing-change/2017/2017-09-15-History-William-Guy-Lecture.pdf
 
Description Women in maths 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact It was a talk to children year 10. Supported by the Further Maths Support Programme:
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://furthermaths.org.uk/