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Study of Chikungunya virus immature particles - evaluation of infectivity, diagnostic approach and vaccine candidate

Grant number: 17/19137-7
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctoral
Effective date (Start): February 01, 2018
Effective date (End): July 31, 2020
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Microbiology - Applied Microbiology
Principal Investigator:Benedito Antônio Lopes da Fonseca
Grantee:Danillo Lucas Alves Espósito
Host Institution: Faculdade de Medicina de Ribeirão Preto (FMRP). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Ribeirão Preto , SP, Brazil
Associated scholarship(s):18/11939-0 - Construction of an infectious clone for the chikungunya virus that lacks the furin cleavage site for the production of non-infectious particles, BE.EP.PD


The recent outbreak caused by chikungunya virus (Alphavirus, Togaviridae) worldwide has shown that, despite being first isolated in the 1950s, this infection still has several points to be elucidated, especially regarding the correct diagnosis of the disease caused by this virus, but also treatment and prevention of infection. The virus, which in spite of short viremia, produces symptoms such as high fever, myalgia, rash and arthritis/arthralgia, which may persist for months or years, causing a major public health impact. The present project proposes the study of the E3 protein of chikungunya, as well as the effect of immature particles during the progression of the infection. In addition, the proposal of an attenuated vaccine candidate, to prevent future infections, with an efficient production of neutralizing antibodies, by generating infection and production of other viral proteins rather than only structural proteins, but with the production of non-infecting viral progeny, guaranteeing safe use of the vaccine. For effective project execution, heterologous proteins will be produced in insect cells, as well as an infectious clone, in which site mutations will be performed to achieve the project objectives, as well as providing a substrate for future projects. As expected results are achieved, the knowledge in chikungunya virus infection could increase, making possible new diagnostic tools and prevention of chikungunya infection. (AU)

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