Zika (ZIKV) Research Projects

Isolation of protective ZIKV-neutralizing maternal monoclonal antibodies for safe prophylactic use in the preconception period

We are currently enrolling a cohort of pregnant women with ZIKV symptoms in order to characterize ZIKV antibody responses and their relationship to fetal outcome. We have developed the capacity for molecular diagnosis of ZIKV with collaborators at the Universidade Federal do Espírito in Vitória, Brazil.  We are isolating and comparing ZIKV-specific plasma responses and monoclonal antibodies from a cohort that transmitted the virus to their fetus, to a group that did not transmit ZIKV to the fetus during pregnancy. Identifying differences between the transmitting versus non-transmitting immune profiles will allow us to characterize protective immune responses that prevent ZIKV transmission to the fetus to guide efforts in vaccine development.

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Team Members:  Holly Heimsath, Josh Eudailey, Helen Webster, Maria Dennis, and Tulika Singh

Duke University School of Medicine

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