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Multi-user equipment approved in grant 2017/27265-5: QuantStudio real-time PCR system


Fungal diseases kill more than 1.5 million individuals and affect more than one billion people annually around the world. These infections are still neglected by public health authorities, although most deaths are preventable. In this project, we propose to explore emerging pathogens among some of the main Brazilian mycoses, including aspergillosis, fusariosis, sporotrichosis, and paracoccidioidomycosis, integrating study systems (epidemiology, diagnosis, and genomics), expanding national and international networking. Our aims are to identify, diagnose and understand how fungal epidemics develop. The first topic of this project uses molecular epidemiology methods to investigate the pathogen-host-environment interplay, disease transmission pathways, and disease emergence. Key issues such as epidemiology, population structure, genetic diversity and host association will be extensively explored. The second topic aims to identify new genetic and proteomic markers that can be used in the early diagnosis of fungal infections using as the main strategy the detection of a marker in tissue samples and biological fluids. Diagnostic tests are essential for patient follow-up and disease control. Misdiagnosis or lack thereof results in public health problems, whether due to failure to treat or inadequate therapy. The third topic employs next-generation sequencing and comparative genomics for molecular typing as well as understanding the evolution and dispersion of fungal epidemics, making it possible to track current outbreaks and epidemics in Brazil. These pieces of information provide a unique opportunity to study the biology and evolution of medically-relevant fungi. Our experimental approach is a first step towards recognizing epidemiological and evolutionary trajectories of pathogens aiming to propose better public health policies to contain fungal epidemics and therefore reduce the number of infections in animals and humans or prevent the emergence of new pathogens. (AU)

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