High-risk pregnancies are characterized when the mother, fetus, or both are at greater risk during pregnancy or childbirth than in a typical pregnancy. This scenario is usually associated with some chronic illness, syndrome, infections or complications from a previous pregnancy. Recently, such phenomena have been extremely relevant to the emergence of the Zika virus (ZIKV). These pathogens promoted major epidemics in Brazil in 2015 and 2016, showing the association between their infection during pregnancy and the development of neurological and fetal morphofunctional dysfunctions, known as Congenital Zika Syndrome. However, little is known about how this pathology and other similarly high-risk pregnancies modulate the immune system and viral microbial diversity in different placental environments, which may be associated with clinical severity. To determine these factors, stratified and standardized sampling of placental biopsies from representative groups of high-risk pregnant population will be performed, including pregnant women with preeclampsia, sickle cell disease, and arboviruses, preferably emerging virus infections. Through the technique of Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) with ultra-high-throughput data, a nucleotide sequence library generated from the processing of these samples will be used for metagenomics and RNA-Seq. With these data, we intend to characterize the virome and the immune transcriptome profile in the representative placental regions obtained from high-risk pregnant women, focusing on the particularities of pregnant women infected with ZIKV, searching associations with the clinical-pathological state.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: