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Biochemical and functional studies of glycoconjugates (LPGs / GIPLs) and prospection of LRV virus in rare dermotropic species/strains of Leishmania.

Grant number: 21/01243-0
Support type:Research Grants - Visiting Researcher Grant - Brazil
Duration: June 01, 2021 - May 31, 2022
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Parasitology - Protozoology of Parasites
Principal researcher:Marcia Dalastra Laurenti
Grantee:Marcia Dalastra Laurenti
Visiting researcher: Rodrigo Pedro Pinto Soares
Visiting researcher institution: Fiocruz Minas - Centro De Pesquisas René Rachou/Cpqrr/Fiocruz, Brazil
Home Institution: Faculdade de Medicina (FM). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil


The dermotropic species of Leishmania cause a wide spectrum of clinical manifestations ranging from benign cutaneous lesions (ulcerated or not) to desfiguring and severe manifesations such as muco-cutaneous and disseminated. Brazil, especially in the Amazon, is considered the area with the highest biodiversity of Leishmania species. Some of them are rare and not well studied. In this project, we will study some of these species focusing on the purification of surface glycoconjugates (LPGs and GIPLs). We will evaluate them functionally in immunopathological assays. We aim to establish if interspecies polymorphisms in those molecules will affect the immunomodulation of inflammatory mediators (NO and cytokines). We intend to correlate if chemical variations with pro-inflammatory activity by dermotropic species and to develop an animal model in hamster. Recently, we reported that LPGs from dermotropic L. infantum strains, a common viscerotropic species, were more pro-inflammatory than those from viscerotropic strains (Cardoso et al., 2020). Those findings were very exciting once this pioneer study between our groups showed that the atypical strains of L. infantum were behavouring siimilar to dermotropic typical strains of L. braziliensis, L. shawi and L. amazonensis (Passero et al. 2015; Ibraim et al., 2013; Nogueira et al., 2016 e Vieira et al., 2019). Then, in this project, we intendo to expand the study of the glycobiology and imnunopathology of rare dermotropic species from the Amazon region. Those include: Leishmania lindembergui, Leishmania lainsoni, Leishmania naiffi and Leishmania guyanensis. As controls, we will include L. shawi and L. braziliensis already studied by our groups. Also, we intend to evaluate if the dermotropic Honduran strains of L. infantum are infected with the LRV virus alike L. braziliensis and L. guynanensis. This virus is related to a higher virulence in the strains from the subgenus Viannia. However, we do not know if its variant (LRV2) is present in dermotropic L. infantum. This project aims to undertand several gaps in the glycobiology and immunoparasitology of dermotropic strains of the subgenera Viannia and Leishmania. (AU)

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