January 9, 2020
Scientists and technicians working on arbovirus projects in Senegal and West Africa are meeting for a training workshop organized by the Mérieux Foundation and Institut Pasteur of Dakar from January 6-10, 2020.
The 5-day course is being led by Dr. Florence Komurian-Pradel, GABRIEL network manager at the Mérieux Foundation, and Dr. Amadou Sall, director of Institut Pasteur of Dakar. Both are members of ZikaPLAN’s Platform for Diagnostics Innovation and Evaluation.
The successful diagnosis of arboviruses continues to pose serious challenges and the emergence of Zika virus (ZIKV) in zones where dengue (DENV) is endemic has further complicated diagnostic testing and interpretation. The two Aedes mosquito-transmitted flaviviruses are closely related, circulating throughout the tropics and presenting similar clinical symptoms.
The participants benefiting from this course are scientists and technicians working on arbovirus projects in laboratories in Senegal and West Africa. The main objective is to train them in molecular and serological arbovirus diagnostics and thereby strengthen laboratory capacity in ZIKV/DENV diagnosis locally. In order to achieve this aim, practical and theoretical sessions are being held to transfer knowledge on quality control in a diagnostic laboratory, to apprehend the complexity of ZIKV/DENV serology and pitfalls within flavivirus serology and to understand the background of ZIKV virus neutralization.
As part of the ZikaPLAN program, Institut Pasteur of Dakar and the Mérieux Foundation have already collaborated successfully in the past: the two prototype tests developed by the Mérieux Foundation, an antigen test for the detection of the Zika virus and a serological test for the detection of immunoglobulin M (IgM) and immuno-globulin G (IgG), were evaluated at the Institut Pasteur of Dakar.