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Maternal-fetal interface: immunopathogenesis and vaccinal intervention in viral infections


Pregnancy is considered an active period of operative regulatory mechanisms for fetal development, but inflammatory disorders associated with viral infections may alter its outcome. This project addresses Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and Zika Virus (ZIKV) infection during pregnancy, both capable of congenital transmission with impact in the public health and do not yet have vaccine coverage. In HIV-1 infection with the advent of antiretrovirals, there has been a considerable reduction in vertical transmission and an increase in the number of HIV-exposed uninfected children who are more vulnerable to infectious processes in the first years of life. ZIKV infection can cause serious consequences such as ZIKV-associated Congenital Syndrome, and also to cause adverse effects in the postnatal period. Our project will investigate (I) microRNA profile at the maternal-fetal interface in HIV or ZIKV infection; (II) the influence of placental inflammation with a translational approach in mice in ZIKV infection; (III) immunological aspects of neutrophils of neonates in these infections and (V) the maternal DNA vaccine strategy for the prevention of congenital ZIKV. Understanding the occurrences at the maternal-fetal interface and strategies for preventing gestational viral infections, with anti-inflammatory and/or antiviral effects for congenital and perinatal anomalies, are essential attributes for maternal-child health quality. (AU)

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