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In vitro evolution of rabies virus

Grant number: 15/00608-4
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): May 01, 2015
Effective date (End): April 30, 2016
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Microbiology - Biology and Physiology of Microorganisms
Principal researcher:Paulo Eduardo Brandão
Grantee:Letícia Gonçalves dos Santos
Home Institution: Faculdade de Medicina Veterinária e Zootecnia (FMVZ). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil


Rabies consists of a zoonotic acute encephalitis and is caused by an RNA virus of the genus Lyssavirus, family Rhabdoviridae. The disease is responsible for large economic losses in Brazilian cattle breeding, and the vampire bat is the main reservoir for herbivorous animals. In addition, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), it is estimated that rabies still causes the death of up to 61,000 people annually worldwide. The participation of wild animals in the transmission of human disease has been gaining importance in the Americas, especially bats. Given the importance of the disease to public and animal health, it is essential to generate data on the molecular evolution of the rabies virus (RABV), contributing, for example, to study the efficiency of antivirals based on short-interfering RNAs (siRNAs), which are constructed from genomic or viral messenger RNAs sequences. This project aims to evaluate the molecular in vitro evolution of RABV through the research of nucleotide mutations in genes encoding N protein and glycoprotein G after successive passages in cell culture. The impact of the acquisition of nucleotide mutations will be evaluated by obtaining the viral titers in the passages in which mutations are identified, as well as in preceding and subsequent passages, checking whether the acquisition of mutations contribute to the viral reproductive success or fitness in vitro. (AU)

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