Visualizing Zika virus infection

Visualizing Zika virus infection david h oconnor  2016-03-07
ZIKV-003 is the first time we have infected a pregnant macaque with Zika virus. We are, once again, hoping to make our data available in real-time. I am aware that sharing ultrasound imagery of developing macaques can elicit stronger emotions than looking at relatively sterile charts and tables. It certainly did for me and our staff who saw the first ultrasound today. These are not experiments I expected to perform as part of my career as an infectious disease researcher, but once again, as with HIV/AIDS, my lodestone is that a relatively small number of animals used in research may have an important role in preventing human suffering due to Zika virus infection. I feel like I remember every pregnant woman I saw on the street when Dawn and I visited Rio de Janeiro two weeks ago. The idea that some of them may have their pregnancies and families threatened by Zika virus is heartbreaking.

I want to thank those who have viewed our data so far and have chosen not to use it out of context to further arguments against using animals in research. I hope that even those who disagree with me, and our research, acknowledge that we have common ground in trying to make data as available as quickly and as widely as possible to minimize the number of animals that need to be used in research.