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Published On: Tue, Mar 25th, 2014

UniSA and French researchers battle Zika virus in the Pacific

Adjunct Professor at UniSA’s School of Pharmacy and Medical Sciences and the Barbara Hardy Institute, Philip Weinstein says the University will provide critical experience and expertise to the international project.

Image/CIA

Image/CIA

“We have research students looking at the environmental drivers of Ross River Virus outbreaks in Adelaide, so the research team can benefit directly from UniSA’s involvement in similar studies at an international scale,” he says.

State-of-the-art antibody testing facilities in French Polynesia will be rolled out for the project and be used to measure and establish the difference between endemic, epidemic, and emerging infectious diseases.

Having done similar work in Samoa, Prof Weinstein will bring this expertise to the project.

“Epidemics can be driven by a variety of different environmental conditions in different places and at different times; it is critical to map out the ecology of disease transmission if appropriate public health interventions are to be recommended to protect the community,” Prof Weinstein says.

UniSA’s Pharmacy Head of School, Prof Jason White, says work on the project has already begun and will provide a fertile platform to establish international research collaborations for UniSA staff and students that will also make a vital contribution to the health of communities in French Polynesia and New Caledonia.

“This is a wonderful example of our expertise being employed to address a significant health problem in our region and, at the same time, it is ensuring our research remains internationally connected and relevant,” Prof White says.

Source: University of South Australia media release

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About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63

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