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Herpesvirus infections in febrile pediatric oncology patients

Grant number: 09/17829-2
Support Opportunities:Regular Research Grants
Duration: May 01, 2010 - October 31, 2012
Field of knowledge:Health Sciences - Medicine - Pathological Anatomy and Clinical Pathology
Principal Investigator:Sandra Helena Alves Bonon
Grantee:Sandra Helena Alves Bonon
Host Institution: Faculdade de Ciências Médicas (FCM). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil
Associated researchers:Sandra Cecília Botelho Costa


Patients with malignancies may have long periods of severe neutropenia. The use of chemotherapy and the underlying disease promote greater depletion of immune system activity. Most episodes of febrile neutropenia are treated empirically without identifying the site or agent, such as fever of unknown origin. Through the conventional diagnostic methods a small number of etiologic agents are identified, blood cultures are usually negative and time-consuming to identify the source of infection for the clinic is usually difficult. Given the urgency of care to cancer patients and febrile need rapid diagnosis of infections in these patients, the search for new laboratory tests in order to promote high accuracy in identification of pathogens in these patients is important. Molecular Biology through the technique for Nested Polymerase Chain Reaction (Nested - PCR) for herpes viruses with DNA as genetic material, have high sensitivity and specificity, as well as fast performance and low sample volume of patient focus. The objective this study is the identification of herpes infections in cancer patients with febrile episodes through the techniques of nested - PCR, thus contributing to the rapid identification of pathogens, reduction of cost to institutions in medicines such as antibiotics and hospitalization. Will be investigated, Epstein-Barr virus (HHV-4), cytomegalovirus (HCMV), herpesvirus-6 (HHV-6) and herpesvirus-7 (HHV-7) of the family Herpesviridae in blood samples from cancer patients with fever and patient control illness without immunosuppression (controls). We expect better results than those found in conventional laboratory tests such as blood culture, which identifies only agents such as bacteria and fungi, with positivity of 10% of cases of febrile episodes, according to current studies. (AU)

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