The ZIKA-COLLAB group brings together the leaders and coordinators of the three European Union-funded consortia, ZikaPLAN, ZIKAction, and ZIKAlliance, to create joint management structures, ensure ethics and regulatory compliance of all proposed activities, and oversee shared communications.

Objectives

  • Create and maintain joint management and oversight structures,
  • Address ethical and information governance issues, ensuring ethical and safe care and treatment of animals and use of patient data and samples for research across and potentially outside of participating consortia, 
  • Organizing integrated communications across consortia, including creation of Communications Oversight Board, planning of joint meetings, and organization of cross-consortia working groups to ensure clear, coherent messages that integrate all communication and dissemination activities.

Results and Achievements

  • The ZIKA-COLLAB group, formed of partners from the three consortia, Umeå University (ZikaPLAN), the Paediatric European Network for Treatment of AIDS PENTA (ZIKAction), and the Institut national de la santé et de la recherche médicale - Inserm (ZIKAlliance), have collaborated to set up two key cross-consortia boards. 
  • The two boards, the Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) and the Ethics Advisory Committee (EAC), have been appointed, with two representatives from each consortium as members. Since the project launch, they have actively participated in the joint meeting held in Antwerp and have given specific and precise directions on how to manage the ethics related to Latin American countries and samples. They have also provided information on the specific attention to be paid to the vulnerable population targeted by all of the studies.
  • For cohesive and consistent communication and dissemination of the three projects, the Communication Oversight Board (COB) meets through monthly teleconferences. This board is responsible for planning all the common dissemination acitivities of the three projects.
  • Following discussions on ethical, regulatory and legal issues, taking into account regulations to fulfil local and international requirements, ad hoc Standard Operating Practices have been designed.
  • Three separate websites, one for each consortium, have been created. They share a dedicated section on cross-consortia collaboration with common content.
  • The Communication and Harmonization Plan was set up to inform the harmonization of communication efforts across the three consortia. It highlights the main targets for joint communication and sets the communication tools.

As a result of this collaboration, quarterly newsletters are published and distributed. These are simultaneously launched  on the 3 project websites and are promoted through social media.

Meetings

  • The scientific coordinators of the three consortia, ZikaPLAN, ZIKAlliance and ZIKAction, met for the first time in Antwerp in October 2017 during the European Congress on Tropical Medicine and International Health where they presented some preliminary work being performed in their projects. A meeting of the Joint Executive Board (comprising the scientific coordinators and project managers of each consortium) also took place in Antwerp.
  • Another remarkable result of this collaboration was the joint organization of an International  ZIKA Symposium held in Marseille, France from June 4-6 2018

Participating Organisations

Group leader: Prof. Annelies Wilder-Smith, Umeå University

  • London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine
  • University of Oxford
  • University of Leuven (KU Leuven)
  • Institut Pasteur
  • Fondation Mérieux
  • Universidade de Pernambuco