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Investigation of selective viral infections and antimicrobial gene resistance in aquatic mammals in Brazil

Grant number: 20/12434-9
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): March 01, 2021
Effective date (End): March 31, 2023
Field of knowledge:Agronomical Sciences - Veterinary Medicine - Preventive Veterinary Medicine
Principal Investigator:Lara Borges Keid
Grantee:Samira Costa da Silva
Host Institution: Faculdade de Medicina Veterinária e Zootecnia (FMVZ). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil


Aquatic mammals are at the top of the food chain and susceptible to several infectious diseases being considered sentinels of the environment in which they live. Infectious diseases are common causes of mortality in these animals and can be caused by fungal, viral and bacterial pathogens. Among the viral pathogens, morbilliviruses are known to cause epizootics with high mortality in cetaceans and pinnipeds and, in addition to compromising the respiratory tract, they also cause systemic infections and immunosuppression, predisposing affected animals to secondary infections. In Brazil so far, only one Cetacean morbillivirus variant (CeMV) has been reported, named Guiana Dolphin variant (Ce-GDMV), which was detected in several species of Cetaceans. Coronavirus has already been described in Cetaceans, associated with respiratory and hepatic infections in Europe and the United States. The emergence and global spread of the SARS-CoV-2 Coronavirus, which causes the COVID-19, imposes new health risks with unpredictable consequences in the context of one health, so monitoring its occurrence in wildlife is an urgent measure. In addition to viral pathogens, marine mammals may be potential carriers of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, which may be involved in severe respiratory infections and may play an important role in the spread of antimicrobial resistance factors (GRAs) in the aquatic environment. Morbillivirus infections have already been reported in Cetaceans in Brazil, but not in other aquatic mammal species. In addition, there is no research on the occurrence of Coronaviruses or the presence of GRAs in these animals, and this study is pioneering and important in one health context, especially for sampling free-living Cetaceans in two different epidemiological contexts: dead stranded animals and live and clinically healthy animals sampled in natural environments, in several locations on the Brazilian coast in the years 2020 to 2022. (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)
COSTA-SILVA, SAMIRA; SACRISTAN, CARLOS; SOARES, RODRIGO M.; CARVALHO, VITOR L.; V. CASTILHO, PEDRO; CREMER, MARTA J.; EWBANK, ANA CAROLINA; DUARTE-BENVENUTO, ARICIA; FAITA, THALITA; NAVAS-SUAREZ, PEDRO E.; et al. Short-Finned Pilot Whale Strandings Associated with Pilot Whale Morbillivirus, Brazil. Emerging Infectious Diseases, v. 29, n. 1, p. 4-pg., . (18/25069-7, 16/20956-0, 20/12434-9)
EWBANK, ANA CAROLINA; DUARTE-BENVENUTO, ARICIA; ZAMANA-RAMBLAS, ROBERTA; SACRISTAN, IRENE; COSTA-SILVA, SAMIRA; CARVALHO, VITOR L.; DRUMMOND DE MELLO, DANIELA MAGALHAES; FERREIRA DA SILVA, VERA MARIA; CATAO-DIAS, JOSE LUIZ; SACRISTAN, CARLOS. Herpesvirus and adenovirus surveillance in threatened wild West Indian (Trichechus manatus) and Amazonian manatees (Trichechus inunguis), Brazil. Acta Tropica, v. 237, p. 7-pg., . (20/12434-9)

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