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Tick encephalitis and Zika in limelight of event in CzechRep

17 February 2017

Ceske Budejovice, South Bohemia, Feb 16 (CTK) - More than 130 experts from several countries attend a two-day Czech-Slovak virological conference that started yesterday and that will focus on search for tick encephalitis and Zika antiviral drugs, organisers have told journalists.

Czech scientist Libor Grubhoffer, former rector of South Bohemia University, said the importance of virology has increased in recent years.

The conference brings together fundamental research scientists, clinical virologists and representatives of medical faculties.

Grubhoffer said he thinks that "the HIV danger, which became a bogey with a plague dimension, has been staved off at the beginning of the millennium," but humankind has now been endangered by epidemics of the Ebola and Zika types.

"This pushed virology to the limelight again," he said.

Similar conferences like the current one were held in former Czechoslovakia regularly. However, the tradition ended after the fall of the communist regime at the end of 1989.

"I am glad that my students have fulfilled my dream in a way. They have followed up the tradition which was very strong here," Grubhoffer said.

The biological centre from Ceske Budejovice, which organises the conference, is a leading workplace in its field. Last year, its scientists participated in the discovery of a group of most effective substances against the tick encephalitis and Zika viruses.

They were the first to describe substances that are effective against Zika.

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