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Continuous improvement of vaccines: Center for Viral Surveillance and Serological Assessment (CeVIVAS)


Vaccination is the touchstone of public health policies. The history of vaccination shows that vaccines have been empirically developed; therefore, many studies are still needed for the continuous development of this biological product. The effectiveness of vaccines is evaluated through the reduction of the infection or illness among vaccinated individuals, and it is influenced by many factors, such as the individual's characteristics, demographic and immunological matters, and the circulating pathogens. Instituto Butantan evidenced its potential for rapid response during the COVID-19 pandemic, when its Scientific Development Center faced the challenges with technical adequacies and management training to integrate scientific and administrative sectors, such as the Municipal and State Health Departments. Based on this successful experience, this project aims to monitor some of these factors to obtain a continuous improvement of viral vaccines for Influenza, COVID-19, and Dengue. To that end, we begin with constant genomic surveillance of the circulating Influenza, SARS-CoV-2, and DENV viruses in the State of São Paulo, in the country, and neighboring countries. The data obtained will allow (i) studies on the evolutionary history of these viruses and (ii) knowing the viral variants circulating in the studied regions. To know the protective capacity of the vaccines used, we will investigate whether (i) sera from vaccinated individuals neutralize the infection of circulating variants and (ii) how is the cellular response of vaccinated individuals against the viral strain used in the immunization and against the variants circulating in the population. This work will allow the creation of a biobank of viral variants, a library of vaccinated individuals, and a bank of mononuclear cells isolated from the peripheral blood of vaccinated individuals that can also be used in future projects. In parallel, we will analyze the effectiveness of vaccines according to sociodemographic, health, and environmental data, comparing the effectiveness of vaccines according to viral variants. The results obtained will be continuously sent to bodies in the three administrative branches: municipal, state, and federal spheres, to contribute significantly to the decision-making of public policies. As a result, we will continuously provide data to the health system so it can face the challenges posed by the viruses studied herein with subsidies more rigorous than before. (AU)

Articles published in Pesquisa FAPESP Magazine about the research grant:
Butantan’s dengue vaccine is 80% effective 
La vacuna contra el dengue producida en Brasil por el Instituto Butantan de São Paulo posee una eficacia del 80 % 
Articles published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the research grant:
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