In the world, it is estimated that exist about 12 million severe cases and 3 million of very severe cases of infection of the lower respiratory tract in children. Among the etiologic agents of these infections, the respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) contributes to the development of several cases of bronchiolitis, pneumonia and chronic obstructive pulmonary infections especially in children and elderlies. In these cases, RSV infection results in high rates of morbidity and mortality. Studies of biotechnology and nanotechnology have rapidly advanced in the development of modern systems of detection for RSV. Moreover, despite decades of numerous studies in search of anti-RSV compounds, there are currently no vaccines or effective drugs for this viral infection. Considering the life cycle of RSV there are several ways to interfere the course of a viral infection: replication, transcription and fusion. Many of these studied compounds are natural and synthetic (alkaloids, steroids, flavonoids) that act as fusion inhibitors and antisense RNA molecules. Quercetin is a flavonoid that has pharmacological activities including anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, anti-cancer, anti-anaphylaxis effects and anti-aging. Previous studies have shown that quercetin has virucidal action on RSV and also inhibit its replication. The objective of this study is to investigate the mechanisms by which quercetin inhibits viral infection of RSV. In this way, quercetin will be incubated with permissive cells of infection by RSV (Hep-2) at different stages of viral infection cycle (adhesion, internalization, replication and externalization). The development of this project will assist in the search for effective compounds in the prevention and/or treatment of RSV infections.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: