Zika Virus Outbreak And The Case For Building Effective And Sustainable Rapid Diagnostics Laboratory Capacity Globally

Authors: Alimuddin Zumla, Ian Goodfellow, Francis Kasolo, Francine Ntoumi, Philippe Buchy, Matthew Bates, Esam Azhar, Matthew Cotten, Eskild Petersen

New and re-emerging pathogens with epidemic potential have threatened global health security for the past century.1 As with the recent Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) epidemic, the Zika Virus (ZIKV) outbreak has yet again surprised and overwhelmed the international health community with an unexpected event for which it might have been better prepared.

ZIKV was first identified in Uganda in 1947, was also found in Gabon in 2007 and may be endemic in much of tropical Africa without receiving much attention.2 The current ZIKV epidemic facing the Americas,3 was declared a “Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC)” by the World Health Organization on 1st February 2016.4 and 5 Preceding the declaration of a Global Public Health Emergency by 4 days was the release of the United Nations report “Protecting Humanity from Future Health Crises. Report of the High-level Panel on the Global Response to Health Crises (UN 26 Jan 2016)”.6 The report recommends that countries be able to “If deemed necessary, diagnostic teams must be deployed to investigate unusual cases. These teams must also have access to laboratory capacities to test samples and to provide rapid test results.”6 This is simply not realistic for the major part of the UN member countries.

Keywords

Zika virus; Emerging pathogens; laboratory; diagnostics; surveillance; public health

Citation: Alimuddin Zumla, Ian Goodfellow, Francis Kasolo, Francine Ntoumi, Philippe Buchy, Matthew Bates, Esam Azhar, Matthew Cotten, Eskild Petersen Zika Virus Outbreak And The Case For Building Effective And Sustainable Rapid Diagnostics Laboratory Capacity Globally http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijid.2016.02.1007

Received: 29 February 2016, Accepted: 29 February 2016, Available online: 4 March 2016

Copyright: © 2016 TheAuthors Published by Elsevier Ltd on behalf of International Society for Infectious Diseases. This is an open access article under the CCBY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/)

Author declarations: All authors have an academic interest in laboratory diagnostics and infectious diseases. Authors declare no conflicts of interest.

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