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Study of the mechanism of action of geraniol derivatives in cell protection against RSV in cell culture

Grant number: 23/11218-9
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): November 01, 2023
Effective date (End): October 31, 2024
Field of knowledge:Health Sciences - Collective Health - Epidemiology
Principal Investigator:Fátima Pereira de Souza
Grantee:Alexandre Ribeiro dos Reis
Host Institution: Instituto de Biociências, Letras e Ciências Exatas (IBILCE). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de São José do Rio Preto. São José do Rio Preto , SP, Brazil


The increase in cases of infection by hRSV (Human Respiratory Syncytial Virus) is a public health problem that plagues hospitals and clinical centers around the world. Brazil experienced outbreaks caused by hRSV that overloaded pediatric hospitals by generating serious causes of acute respiratory infection (ARI) when it affects the lower respiratory tract, mainly in children under 2 years of age and the elderly, in April 2023. Global estimates show more than 33.1 million annual cases, with 10% requiring hospitalization and almost 60,000 deaths. So far, the treatment is done with the use of Ribavirin and the monoclonal antibody Palivizumab, which are high-cost alternatives that can cause side effects, used only in risk groups. Alternative therapies, safe and more specific to hRSV, are shown to be necessary to combat this infection. The use of small molecules of natural origin has shown promise in combating respiratory viral infections, with geraniol and its derivatives being one of these groups, with anti-RSV potential observed in our research group. The objective of the project is to investigate the mechanism of action of geraniol in vero cell culture against hRSV. Vero cells will be incubated in different concentrations of geraniol and different times of action, in MOIs of 0.1, 0.01, and 0.001 in evaluation protocols of virucidal action, in which the phases of the viral infection cycle (adhesion, internalization, replication, and budding) at the pre-and post-treatment level, through a plaque formation test. The development of this project may help in understanding the mechanism of action of geraniol, which is the viral load and efficient concentration of ligands in effective cell protection. In this way, it is expected to propose, in the long term, effective antiviral therapies that are accessible to the population.

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