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Molecular biomarker for post-COVID-19 fibrosing interstitial pneumonitis

Grant number: 23/10184-3
Support Opportunities:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): March 01, 2024
Effective date (End): February 28, 2025
Field of knowledge:Health Sciences - Medicine - Medical Clinics
Principal Investigator:Alexandre Todorovic Fabro
Grantee:Sabrina Setembre Batah
Supervisor: Claudia dos Santos
Host Institution: Faculdade de Medicina de Ribeirão Preto (FMRP). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Ribeirão Preto , SP, Brazil
Research place: University of Toronto (U of T), Canada  
Associated to the scholarship:21/09024-6 - Post COVID19 fibrosing interstitial pneumonitis, BP.DR


Fibrosing interstitial pneumonitis (FIP) can be defined as an attempt to repair injured lung tissue, with some extensive deposition of extracellular matrix, leading to disarrangement of the lung parenchyma and septal thickening. The regulatory mechanisms involved in fibrogenesis are complex and involve a number of molecules. FIP can be the common end result of many distinct lung diseases (such as idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis) or be related to chronic viral inflammations like COVID-19. Histopathologically some patients may present diffuse alveolar damage and exacerbated posterior myofibroblastic proliferation with subsequent extracellular matrix deposition, resulting in parenchymal remodeling and future FIP, which can often be the outcome of COVID-19. Recent transcriptome analysis on COVID-19 patients revealed upregulation of collagen genes and MUC gene family; And peripheral blood mononuclear cells transcriptome identified significantly altered genes related to activity of innate immunity and genes enriched to apoptosis and P53 signaling pathways. Due to the time of the disease in which the blood is collected, the transcriptome of blood samples tends to highlight genes related to the acute inflammatory process, overshadowing the genes related to the beginning of fibrotic process. Therefore, the aim of this project is to explore potential blood molecular biomarkers to predict the fibrotic phenotype and outcome in COVID-19 by blood and lung tissue transcriptome through bioinformatics analysis. (AU)

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