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CURA ZIKA: AN INTERNATIONAL ALLIANCE

CURAZIKA.PITT.EDU

The University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health is proud to launch Cura Zika, an international alliance to perform much-needed research addressing the Zika epidemic by uniting  Pitt biomedical scientists and their Brazilian collaborators.

Zika is a mosquito-borne and sexually transmitted virus which causes microcephaly in infants born to mothers infected with it. It is also associated with increased risk of Guillain-Barre syndrome and other neurological disorders in people who contract it. The virus is widespread in Southern and Central America and has a likelihood of gaining sustained transmission in the Southern U.S.

Cura Zika builds on Pitt Public Health’s long-standing collaboration with FIOCRUZ , the Brazilian Ministry of Health’s Fundação Oswaldo Cruz Foundation, the most prominent science and technology health institution in Latin America. Cura Zika—which means ‘Cure Zika’ in both Portuguese and Spanish—will provide quick access funding to scientists performing time-sensitive research on the virus. This support is designed to move early-stage innovative research ideas into larger studies in an accelerated manner.

An initial startup grant of $200,000 is being equally matched by funds from the Graduate School of Public Health and from the University of Pittsburgh schools of the health sciences. Already, an additional $800,000 in pledges has been received towards the alliance's efforts to fund research to stop the disease.

Cura Zika Symposium

If you missed the live event, you may still view the Cura Zika symposium video to get a look at some of the related research already underway at the University of Pittsburgh.

Cura Zika Pilot project presentations

Find out more about the research currently under way at this Pitt Public Health event: Cura Zika Pilot Research Grant Presentations.

Zika News

Marques finds prior dengue infection protects against Zika

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The higher a person's immunity to dengue virus, the lower their risk of Zika infection, an international team of scientists reported in the journal Science. The study also provides evidence that Brazil's Zika epidemic has largely petered out because enough people acquired immunity to reduce the efficiency of transmission. The discovery relied on tests for dengue and Zika developed by Marques and his team and patented by Pitt.   

As Zika babies become toddlers, some can’t see, walk, or talk

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NEW YORK TIMES - Infectious disease researcher ERNESTO MARQUES says about 3 percent of 1,000 pregnant Brazilian women in a recent sample were infected with Zika. “The problem’s not going away. We are still having cases. And the future of Zika babies already born is complicated by poverty and strained resources. “Most of these babies are from low socioeconomic status and rely on the public health system to provide care. It’s very difficult to mana... 

Marques: While Zika hasn’t been in the news much, that doesn’t mean it’s gone

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WASHINGTON POST - Local transmission seems to have come to a standstill, with one suspected case in Texas and one case confirmed in Florida. Herd immunity may be preventing more big outbreaks. But if Zika behaves like other arboviruses, it will probably stick around. They tend to be cyclical, says Pitt Public Health researcher ERNESTO MARQUES. “You have big booms, then they drop. Then a few years later, they come back again.” 

Enigma: Marques worked to pinpoint culprit of mysterious illness in Brazil

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PITTWIRE - When a mysterious illness suddenly emerged in his Brazilian hometown, IDM researcher ERNESTO MARQUES mobilized with colleagues to decode its unknowns. The work may help infectious-disease researchers stop or stall new epidemics. His story begins on page 18. 

Marques: Zika virus still offers no clear answers

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THE GLOBE AND MAIL - It has been two years since Brazil’s northeast was hit with the public-health crisis that left babies born with CZS and set off alarm bells in the global health community. Yet experts continue to grapple with big questions. “We can’t really tell if what happened here was replicated or not in other areas of Brazil or Latin America because we don’t really know how many women were exposed,” said IDM’s ERNESTO MARQUES, who is con... 

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SUPPORT CURA ZIKA

Help address the Zika epidemic by providing critical, quick-access funding to scientists with innovative, early-stage research ideas.

Click to donate online, or contact David Tye at 412-624-3608 or dat100@pitt.edu.

Zika News

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Marques finds prior dengue infection protects against Zika 

Marques finds prior dengue infection protects against Zika

The higher a person's immunity to dengue virus, the lower their risk of Zika infection, an international team of scientists reported in the journal Science. The study also provides evidence that Brazil's Zika epidemic has largely petered out because enough people acquired immunity to reduce the eff... (02/11/2019)
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As Zika babies become toddlers, some can’t see, walk, or talk 

As Zika babies become toddlers, some can’t see, walk, or talk

NEW YORK TIMES - Infectious disease researcher ERNESTO MARQUES says about 3 percent of 1,000 pregnant Brazilian women in a recent sample were infected with Zika. “The problem’s not going away. We are still having cases. And the future of Zika babies already born is complicated by poverty and straine... (12/14/2017)
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Marques: While Zika hasn’t been in the news much, that doesn’t mean it’s gone 

Marques: While Zika hasn’t been in the news much, that doesn’t mean it’s gone

WASHINGTON POST - Local transmission seems to have come to a standstill, with one suspected case in Texas and one case confirmed in Florida. Herd immunity may be preventing more big outbreaks. But if Zika behaves like other arboviruses, it will probably stick around. They tend to be cyclical, says P... (10/30/2017)

View more Zika news

Questions?

Send questions about the Cura Zika initiative, an international alliance to perform much-needed research addressing the Zika epidemic, to CuraZika@pitt.edu.

Cura Zika mark

Media Contact

Allison Hydzik,
manager of media relations 
hydzikam@upmc.edu 
412-647-9975

Cura Zika Advisory Board

Program director
Donald Burke

Scientific director
Ernesto T. A. Marques

Scientific advisors 
Fernando Bozza   
Lee Harrison 
Cecilia Lo 
Celina Martelli 
Yoel Sadovsky     

© 2019 by University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health

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