The Problem:

Zika. And it’s a big one. The Zika virus (which is passed to humans by mosquitoes) is severely impacting dozens of developing countries in Central and South America. Zika has only recently begun to spread in the Western Hemisphere, and there isn’t a lot of research or information on the specifics of the virus (how it spreads, carriers, etc.). Currently, there is no effective treatment for the Zika virus.

Learn more about Zika from the CDC.

The Work:

Vysnova Partners is supporting the Center for Disease Control (CDC) in its effort to conduct a Zika surveillance study which includes animals (mammals and birds) that may act as reservoirs and vectors (mosquitoes) in Latin America. Vysnova was awarded a two-year contract to coordinate the efforts in four research sites (two in Colombia, one in Peru and one in Brazil). The research teams are collecting different kinds of samples (blood and tissues) from animals who live in and near the active area of the disease (reported human cases). Their research will attempt to determine which species are more likely to be carriers of the virus, with the eventual goal of developing effective strategies to control the animal carriers and combat the virus’ spread.

This effort is supported by key local partners such as the Universidad de Cordoba and Universidad de los Andes in Colombia, Universidae Catolica Dom Bosco and Universidade Federal de Mato Grosso in Brazil and U.S. NAMRU-6 in Peru.

The Vysnova Impact:

The challenge faced in conducting this Zika research lies within the diversity of the research sites. Each location and test subject is unique and this project faces an additional challenge in considering the variety of the animal species being tested.

Each research site is unique, but it is the Vysnova team’s job to ensure each site maintains high levels of consistency to ensure that the findings will be comparable across sites and that the research will be beneficial in providing recommendations with the goal of understanding the disease and the role of different species as reservoirs for the virus—and ultimately, ending the spread of the virus.

The Vysnova team is composed of experienced project management and technical staff with vast knowledge in their respective fields. Most of the work is managed out of Vysnova’s Latin America regional office based in Lima, Peru by local staff, which allows for a more comprehensive approach and solutions tailored to the specific needs of the countries understanding their particular reality.