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Investigation of the Saint Louis virus on samples from immunocompromised and immunocompetent patients

Grant number: 17/23036-1
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): April 01, 2018
Effective date (End): March 31, 2019
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Microbiology
Principal Investigator:Camila Malta Romano
Grantee:Cibele Odete Dantas Leal
Host Institution: Instituto de Medicina Tropical de São Paulo (IMT). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil


Polyomaviruses belong to the family Polyomaviridae. JCPyV and BKPyV were the first described capable of infecting humans, being discovered in 1971. From this, several other human poliomaviruses have been described as causing disease (such as Merkel Cell polyomavirus), but the vast majority are possible commensals. In the year 2014, the Saint Louis polyomavirus (STLPyV) was found in a stool sample from a child in Malawi. Serological studies showed high prevalence of this virus, and it should be noted that the first infection seems to occur even in early childhood (up to 6 years). Since the discovery of this virus is relatively recent there are still few studies on STLPyV, lacking the definition of its pathogenicity and geographical distribution. Thus, the basic knowledge of the biology and clinical-epidemiological behavior of this virus as well the other viruses of this family are not only critical for the understanding of the virus itself, but for the family Poliomaviridae as a whole. In order to increase the knowledge about the prevalence and excretion of this virus in the Brazilian population, STLPyV viral DNA will be investigated in the urine and blood of three groups: (I) Immunocompetent (patients and staff of the Institute of Medicine (II) Immunodepressed patients (renal transplant patients) and (III) Immunocompetent mother and infant samples such as milk, urine and saliva. The aim of study this later group is to observe a possible perinatal transmission through milk. At the end of the study, samples that are positive will be sequenced and phylogenetic analyzes will be performed to classify the lineage present in our environment. (AU)

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