October 2020

The London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) and ARCTEC have announced the launch of an early version of their Global Vector Hub (GVH), GVH-Beta.


Four years on from its launch in Recife, Brazil, the global initiative, ZikaPLAN, created in response to a Horizon 2020 funding call by the European Commission’s Directorate-General Research and Innovation to address the Zika virus outbreak and the related public health challenges, has been extended for 6 months to March 2021.

Whilst this extension does not involve further funding, it does provide a welcome and important opportunity for the 15 active working groups in the project to finalise the work and the results that have been interrupted this year by the COVID-19 pandemic.

ZikaPLAN, led by an Executive Board and its Director Prof. Annelies Wilder-Smith, has members in 5 continents, with 13 from Europe, 8 from Latin America, 2 from the United States, 1 from Africa and 1 from Asia. Since 2016, the consortium has built on expertise and existing relationships in a variety of research areas related to Zika and other emerging infectious diseases.

Working closely with two other European Union-funded consortia ZIKActionZIKAlliance, ZikaPLAN’s role has been to establish a Latin American and Caribbean network and to:

  • address the knowledge gaps and needs in the current Zika outbreak to better understand the disease, prevent its spread and educate the affected populations,
  • build a sustainable response capacity in Latin America for Zika and other emerging infectious diseases (EID).

Meetings of the 3 EU-funded Zika Consortia have been held across the globe over the period of the initiative to advance on-going work, to update, to inform and to ensure continuing data harmonisation and data sharing.

ZikaPLAN Director, Prof. Annelies Wilder-Smith confirmed “We are delighted to have been granted this extension which will ensure that the dedicated work undertaken over the 4 year period of the initiative can be completed and the results can be shared in order to benefit the continuing fight against Zika and other emerging infectious diseases”.

ZikaPLAN received a €11.5 million grant from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program, under grant agreement number 734584.