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Tracking emerging zoonotic viruses and their zoonotic potential in Brazilian bats: a one health approach

Grant number: 21/09144-1
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctoral
Effective date (Start): May 01, 2022
Effective date (End): April 30, 2024
Field of knowledge:Agronomical Sciences - Veterinary Medicine - Preventive Veterinary Medicine
Principal Investigator:Helena Lage Ferreira
Grantee:Larissa Mayumi Bueno
Host Institution: Faculdade de Zootecnia e Engenharia de Alimentos (FZEA). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Pirassununga , SP, Brazil


Viral zoonoses are diseases transmitted between animals and humans, with great importance in public health worldwide, causing thousands of deaths every year. Among the zoonotic viruses, bats have been proposed as probable reservoirs that originated coronaviruses, as well as several other highly relevant viruses, such as Ebola and rabies. Until now, more than 11,000 virus sequences have been found in bats, and the majority belongs to Coronaviridae and Paramyxoviridae, and also Orthohantaviridae. The fact that bats harbor several viruses, and the highly genomic recombination of some of those viruses, requires constant investigation for the potential emergence of new viruses and spillover. In addition, there is still no information related to the occurrence of reverse zoonosis, i.e., the potential of the virus to be transmitted from humans to bats, which could cause new genomic recombinations and, consequently, the emergence of new viruses with greater zoonotic and pathogenic potential. Therefore, viral surveillance in bats is extremely necessary, not only to investigate which viruses circulate in Brazilian bats, as well as to investigate the occurrence of reverse zoonosis and the zoonotic potential of these viruses, thus contributing to the development of strategies to prevent future pandemics. Thus, we aim to identify the viral diversity and the main cell receptors used by zoonotic viruses in New World bats, and to develop cell lines of bats that are permissive to zoonotic viruses. (AU)

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