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Identification of virulence factors of Leptospira interrogans through comparative proteomics analysis

Grant number: 18/06201-1
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): May 01, 2019
Effective date (End): April 30, 2021
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Biochemistry - Chemistry of Macromolecules
Principal Investigator:Ana Lucia Tabet Oller Do Nascimento
Grantee:Edson Galdino Do Nascimento Filho
Home Institution: Instituto Butantan. Secretaria da Saúde (São Paulo - Estado). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:14/50981-0 - Search for surface proteins among the genome sequences of Leptospira interrogans: functional and immunological characterization to understanding mechanisms involved in the bacterial pathogenesis, AP.TEM


Leptospirosis is caused by pathogenic bacteria belonging to the genus Leptospira. The disease is most prevalent in tropical and subtropical regions due mainly to poor sanitary conditions that favors the transmission via soil or water contaminated with the urine of infected mammals. In urban areas, the synanthropic rodents (e.g. Rattus novergicus) are the most important Leptospirosis carriers. Leptospirosis symptoms are usually characterized by fever, chills, headaches and myalgia, and may develop to more severe forms, for example, Weil's Syndrome and Severe Pulmonary Hemorrhagic Syndrome (SPHS), which account for 10 to 50% of cases of Leptospirosis mortality in adults. There is still no efficient early diagnosis method available, so the development of a vaccine is extremely important. Little is known about which proteins are expressed in saprophytic leptospires. Thus, a global analysis of the proteins expressed in the nonpathogenic strain (L. biflexa) could facilitate the identification of the possible virulence factors involved in the pathogenicity of Leptospirosis by comparison with the proteins expressed in the virulent strain. Within the same objectives, the project aims to evaluate the proteins secreted by the virulent strain, L. interrogans, which are potential virulence determinants of these bacteria in host-pathogen interactions. With these proteomic analyzes based on mass spectrometry, we intend to recognize potentially important candidates in the process of virulence/pathogenesis of leptospires, in the composition of vaccines against Leptospirosis and in the development of more efficient diagnostic methods. (AU)