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Assessment of natural killer cells' role in Sporothrix schenckii infection

Grant number: 15/04021-8
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctoral
Effective date (Start): June 01, 2015
Effective date (End): May 31, 2018
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Immunology - Applied Immunology
Acordo de Cooperação: Coordination of Improvement of Higher Education Personnel (CAPES)
Principal Investigator:Iracilda Zeppone Carlos
Grantee:Lucas Souza Ferreira
Host Institution: Faculdade de Ciências Farmacêuticas (FCFAR). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de Araraquara. Araraquara , SP, Brazil


Sporotrichosis is an acute or chronic subcutaneous mycosis affecting humans and other mammals, caused by the Sporothrix schenckii species complex. The disease follows the traumatic inoculation of the fungus through injuries with soil, inhalation of conidia or zoonotic transmission, especially from cat scratches, affecting immunocompromised individuals in an opportunistic fashion. In several countries sporotrichosis is regarded as an emerging opportunistic infection and exhibits, in Brazil, a distinctive urban profile owning to the surge in feline-transmitted cases in the last two decades. Its clinical forms are highly dependent on the immune status of the host, with immunocompromised patients usually affected by systemic and disseminated forms. Recently, we showed that the S. schenckii experimental infection induces Th17 cell development in vivo and suggested, for the first time, a role for natural killer (NK) cells in this infection. Although usually associated to immune responses against tumors and viruses, NK cells show direct in vitro activity and play a pivotal role in the host immune response against various fungi in vivo. Therefore, we propose a broad assessment of NK cells' role in the S. schenckii infection, from the phenotypic characterization and investigation of their antifungal mechanisms to the determination of their importance to the immune response against this pathogen. The obtained results will sensibly advance the understanding of NK cells' role in fungal infections, besides supporting the development of strategies for the immunomodulation of sporotrichosis, especially in immunocompromised individuals. (AU)

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Scientific publications
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
FERREIRA, LUCAS SOUZA; PORTUONDO, DEIVYS LEANDRO; POLESI, MARISA CAMPOS; CARLOS, IRACILDA ZEPPONE. Natural killer cells are pivotal for in vivo protection following systemic infection by Sporothrix schenckii. IMMUNOLOGY, v. 155, n. 4, p. 467-476, . (15/04023-0, 15/04021-8)

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