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An eco-epidemiological study of the Zika Virus in the Northeastern Region of the State of São Paulo

Grant number: 16/25763-5
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): April 01, 2019
Effective date (End): September 30, 2021
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Microbiology
Principal researcher:Luiz Tadeu Moraes Figueiredo
Grantee:Leonardo La Serra
Home Institution: Faculdade de Medicina de Ribeirão Preto (FMRP). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Ribeirão Preto , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:14/02438-6 - Studies with Bunyaviridae that produce human disease, AP.TEM


This is a broad thematic project that includes 12 subprojects of research, all proposing to study different aspects of infections by Zika Virus (ZIKV), including the congenital disease and Guillain Barré Syndrome. In this way, it intends to contribute significantly to the knowledge and control of this viral emergent pathogen. The project involves the coordinator and 4 leading researchers. It will last for three years at a cost of R$ 1.161.000. Briefly, we intend to study the immune response in infections ZIKV detection and quantification of cytokines and also analyzing gene expression in peripheral blood cells of pregnant. We also intend to develop and standardize methods for laboratory diagnostics ZIKV such as viral isolation, distinct RT-PCRs, as well as different enzyme immunoassays and neutralization tests. Also, we will develop new methods for laboratory diagnosis of ZIKV including a rapid immunochromatographic test and Luminex assay and microarray for virus detection. Such modern methods may result in patents and commercial diagnostic kits. ZIKV isolated from patients will have complete genome sequenced for phylogenetic studies and for molecular epidemiology allowing to find viral characteristics associated with severe forms of the disease. One subproject aims develop a vaccine against ZIKV based on viral attenuation by multiple serial passages of the virus in embryonated chicken egg. This vaccine will be tested for its protective capacity against the infection by ZIKV in mice. Antiviral (anti-ZIKV) drugs will be searched by HTS (High-Throughput Screening) and HCS (High-Content Screening), both modern methodologies that will be used to analyze a vast library of chemical compounds. Children with congenital infection ZIKV, will be analyzed on association of the disease with the immunomodulatory molecule HLA-G. Likewise, ZIKV infection will be searched in blood donors aiming to know the risk of contamination of these materials and improve the safety of blood products. Another subproject aims to develop murine experimental models of congenital infection ZIKV with application in various future experimental studies. For example, for studies on the ZIKV infection and its inflammatory response. These studies will be carried out in the experimental model as well as in humans such as: the mother, infants, fetuses and placentas. Finally, it will be performed a detailed study of the replicative process ZIKV in cell cultures. (AU)

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