Endemic alphavirus in Eastern Panama
Universidad de Panama
Infectious Diseases
Dr. Jean Paul Carrera
English and Spanish
4 weeks
Cities/Months Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Augt Sep Oct Nov Dec
yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes No No No
Type of Research Project
- Basic science
What is the background of the project?
Eastern equine encephalitis (eee) and Venezuelan equine encephalitis (VEE) viruses, alphaviruses that are members of the Togaviridae family, are important causes of febrile illness and encephalitis in the Americas. The eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) and Venezuelan equine encephalitis (VEE) viruses are pathogens that infect humans and horses in the Americas. In Panama, the VEE virus was first associated with fatal human disease in 1960, and there have been additional cases since then. Outbreaks of neurologic disease in humans and horses were reported in Panama from May through early August 2010.
What is the aim of the project?
Test the hypothesis that alphavirus encephalitis infection ocurred before 2010 outbreaks in Panama.
What techniques and methods are used?
1. Samples of blood are collected from the population in study and storage in lab 2. ELISA (enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay) and PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) methods are used to determine IgM and IgG antibodies of the samples. 3. Plaque reduction neutralization test is applied too. 4. Data analysis will be performed using STATA statistical software system in order to determine the incidence of alphavirus encephalitis infection in Panama by the identification of samples with positive IgM and IgG antibodies.
What is the role of the student?
- The tasks will be done under supervision
What are the tasks expected to be accomplished by the student?
Determine IgM and IgG antibodies of the samples collected using the methods of ELISA (enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay) and PCR in laboratory under the supervision of tutors. The student will take part in the process of data collection and statistics analysis applying biostatistics knowledge. The student will also learn how to write a scientific manuscript correctly to be published in a journal.
Will there be any theoretical teaching provided (preliminary readings, lectures, courses, seminars etc)
Literature search
What is expected from the student at the end of the research exchange? What will be the general outcome of the student?
- No specific outcome is expected
What skills are required of the student? Is there any special knowledge or a certain level of studies needed?
Statistic tools and biostatistics knowledge, interest and readiness to work.
Are there any legal limitations in the student’s involvement
Type of students accepted
This project accepts:
- Medical students
- Jean Paul Carrera. Eastern Equine Encephalitis in Latin America. 2013. N Engl J Med. 2013 Aug 22; 369(8): 10.1056/NEJMoa1212628. doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa1212628
- Lundberg L; Carey B; Kehn-Hall K. Venezuelan Equine Encephalitis Virus Capsid-The Clever Caper. Viruses. 2017;9(10):279.