Respiratory viruses have a strong impact not only on public health, but also on social and economic aspects, affecting the entire world. This is clear as in the cases of pandemic respiratory viruses such as Influenza and SARS-CoV-2. The tonsils play an important role in the immune response against ingested or inhaled pathogens. Our research group showed that the tonsillar tissue can be an abundant source of respiratory viruses even in the absence of symptoms of acute infections, a strong indicator for a long-term silent infection. Explants are tissue fragments grown in a medium-air interface culture that mimics changes in the organ of interest, preserving the cytoarchitecture and interactions between cells. Pandemic respiratory virus infections in palatine tonsil explants may help to understand molecular and cellular aspects of viral dissemination in lymphoid tissues at different times of infection. Ex vivo infection of these tissues will be used to determine replication curves, in situ antigen testing and cytokine quantification. The explants will be prepared with human palatine tonsils in small pieces kept in 6-well plates with specific culture medium in an air-medium interface.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: