Image credit: CDC/James Gathany

In just a few months, the Zika virus, previously thought to be a relatively benign pathogen, has become a public health crisis in the Americas. Today, Zika is active in 50 countries and territories, and the U.S. is bracing for outbreaks this summer. As the Zika public health emergency has taken off, so too has research to better understand the pathophysiology of Zika infection and to develop rapid, accurate tests for the virus.

A late-breaking session at the 68th AACC Annual Scientific Meeting & Clinical Lab Expo featuring experts from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the University of Toronto will bring to light these and other Zika-related issues. “Late Breaking Session: Zika Virus – Global Impact and the Role of Diagnostic Testing” (33122) will take place August 2 at 10:30 a.m.

Randall Kincaid, PhD, senior scientific officer in NIAID’s Office of Biodefense Research Resources and Translational Research, will speak on diagnostics for Zika in the Americas and the unique challenges and considerations there. Stephen Lovell, PhD, chief of FDA’s General Viral And Hepatitis Branch, will discuss FDA Emergency Use Authorizations (EUA) for Zika assays; and Keith Pardee, PhD, a University of Toronto assistant professor of pharmacy, will talk about rapid, low-cost detection of Zika using programmable biomolecular components. Annual Meeting Organizing Committee chair William Clarke, PhD, MBA, DABCC, an associate professor of pathology at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, will moderate the session.

Kincaid, Lovell, and Pardee will provide an overview of Zika virus, its disease manifestations, and appropriate diagnostic tests. They also will discuss treatment and detection strategies, along with regulatory issues regarding accelerated review for FDA’s EUA.

As CLN Stat went to publication, FDA had granted EUAs for four in vitro diagnostics for detection of Zika virus and/or diagnosis of Zika virus infection. During their session, the panelists will provide the very latest information about Zika diagnostics and transmission.

Mark your calendars now to attend this timely, information-packed session. This Morning Symposium, included in AACC's new simplified fee structure