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Brazilian researcher will join team that will test coronavirus drugs in Italy

Publicado em 18 março 2020

A Brazilian woman will be part of the team responsible for conducting research related to the coronavirus vaccine. The research will be carried out in Italy and the first phase of tests, carried out using animals, is expected to start happening this week.

The researcher is Rafaela Rosa-Ribeiro, a postdoctoral biologist at the Instituto Israelita de Ensino e Pesquisa Albert Einstein. Rafaela has expertise in the study of cell death induced by the Zika virus.

It is worth noting that, even in 2019, the researcher cited even started a research internship at the Department of Infectious Diseases and Neuroscience at Ospedalle San Rafaelle.

The hospital is in the city of Milan, Italy.

During the realization of the project, Rafaela was supervised by Elisa Vicenzi, coordinator of the first group in Italy to be able to isolate SARS-CoV, which appeared in 2002 and also had China as its point of origin. The virus was responsible for causing the first cases of SARS.

It is also possible to point out that SARS-Cov has spread to 30 countries worldwide and has spread to more than 8 thousand people. In addition, the virus in question was responsible for 800 deaths.

However, since 2004, no other cases of the mentioned disease have been detected.

In front of SARS-CovV-2, the new coronavirus and the cause of Covid-19, the group led by Elisa Vicenzi will re-run tests with drugs that previously showed potential in fighting viruses that cause respiratory diseases.

Other lines of research

However, there is still another line of research for the development of the drug in question.

According to this line, it is necessary to understand which are the “signaling pathways” active in the cells that have been infected by the new coronavirus.

Thus, experiments will be carried out considering human cells, but they will also be used in testing bats and other animals that can be considered as reservoir species for other types of coronaviruses that do not develop the symptoms of Covid-19.

During an interview, granted to Agência Fapesp, Rafaela Rosa-Ribeiro came to present a part of the projects that will be done in Italy over the next few weeks.

She also reported a little about the experience of having to deal so closely with the coronavirus pandemic.

According to the Official Repository of the Department of Civil Protection of Italy, a total of 27,980 cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed in the country since February 24 of that year. In addition, it is still possible to point out that there were about 2,158 deaths due to the virus.