The recent increase in epidemic outbreaks of arboviruses in Brazil, such as the Zika, Dengue, Yellow Fever, and Chikungunya (CHIKV) virus, has caused serious public health problems. This increase causes other lesser known circulating arboviruses, such as Mayaro (MAYV), to be neglected. The presence of these different arboviruses in areas where MAYV co-circulates increases the risk of co-infection during outbreak periods. Although there are reports of MAYV co-infection with other arboviruses, there are few studies reporting MAYV and CHIKV co-infection. Both CHIKV and MAYV belong to the Alphavirus genus, and due to the antigenic proximity, the clinical symptoms are similar, interfering with the serological diagnosis. Recent studies have shown that infection with alphavirus triggers, in exposed individuals, a potent humoral response capable of providing protection against reinfection. Using a murine model, was demonstrated that mice previously exposed to CHIKV show partial cross-protection, mediated by the innate immune response, to MAYV infection. However, there are still gaps regarding the understanding of the antibody response as well as the role of B cells in immunity against these alphaviruses. Therefore, this project aims to study how the humoral and cellular immune response, focusing on B cells, is modulated in the paw of mice coinfected with MAYV and CHIKV. C57BL/6 immunologically competent adult mice will be coinfected in the paw following different models of coinfection. Understanding the antibody-mediated humoral immune response is crucial for vaccine development, as it represents a major advantage in controlling alphavirus infection.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: