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Evaluation of the activity profile of biocompounds extracted from the marine sponge Tedania ignis as candidates for new antimalarials

Grant number: 20/03473-0
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): July 01, 2020
Effective date (End): December 31, 2020
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Parasitology - Protozoology of Parasites
Principal researcher:Marcos Leoni Gazarini Dutra
Grantee:Larissa Alessandra Bafoni
Home Institution: Instituto de Saúde e Sociedade (ISS). Universidade Federal de São Paulo (UNIFESP). Campus Baixada Santista. Santos , SP, Brazil


Malaria, caused by protozoa of the genus Plasmodium, is one of the main public health problems in the world. The disease occurs in 87 countries, being endemic in the tropical and subtropical regions of Africa, Southeast Asia, and Latin America. Almost half of the world's population (3 billion people) is exposed to malaria transmission in areas at risk. In 2016, 219 million cases and 435 thousand deaths were recorded, most of them in Africa (WHO, 2016). The emergence of cases of resistance to available drugs makes the development of new chemotherapeutic agents against the disease extremely important. The research project aims to identify the antimalarial potential infractions and bioactive compounds extracted from the marine sponges Tedania ignis and Aplysina fulva. For this purpose, the compounds will be evaluated in standardized biological assays against sensitive strains and resistant to commercially used antimalarials. In addition, cytotoxicity tests will be performed to determine the toxicological profile of new extracts and compounds in human cell lines. The characterization of the mechanisms of action of compounds, in addition to the study of parasitic cell physiology throughout the intra-erythrocytic cycle, will be evaluated in this project. For this, fluorescent indicators will be used, since the specificity of the fluorescence peptides allows the evaluation of ionic homeostasis in different organelles acting as "intracellular probes". The experimental plan that will be developed in this Scientific Initiation project is of extreme value for the candidate's academic training, with regard to the use of experimental methods for the discovery of new candidates for antimalarial drugs, in addition to the relevant scientific contribution of the results. The proposed project will be carried out at the Federal University of São Paulo, Campus Baixada Santista. The institute has the necessary infrastructure to carry out all the stages of this research project, in addition, the proposed research theme will concretize the collaboration of research groups that work in the Bioprospecting line of the Bioproducts and Bioprocesses Graduate Program. (AU)

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