Identification of immunological, nutritional, parasitological / serological parameters in a case-control study associated with leprosy.
Brazil (IFMSA-Brazil) - Universidade Federal de Juiz de Fora - Campus Governador Valadares (UFJF-GV), Governador Valadares
Infectious Diseases
Biological Sciences Institute,
Federal University of Juiz de Fora, Governador Valadares - MG, Brazil
Theory: Lúcia Alves de Oliveira Fraga, PhD Research: Dirce Ribeiro de Oliveira, PhD Fieldwork: Pauline Martins Leite Borges
4 weeks
Cities/Months Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Augt Sep Oct Nov Dec
No No Yes No No No No No No No No No
Type of Research Project
- Global Action Project (GAP)
What is the background of the project?
While cases of Hansen’s disease have decreased over the last 20 years, there is still a steady number of new cases every year. Brazil has the second largest burden of Hansen’s disease in the world and Governador Valadares area, in the state of Minas Gerais is endemic to schistosomiasis, soil- transmitted helminths and leprosy. Addressing helminth co- infections and micronutrient deficiencies is an innovative approach to controlling this infection. This project will serve to demonstrate potential associations between Mycobacterium leprae, parasitic infections and micronutrient deficiencies, and the immunologic basis of these associations. Consequently, the data from this study can serve as the basis for more in-depth studies to investigate these associations, and to determine if treating helminth infections and micronutrient deficiencies can have an impact on the transmission of leprosy.
What is the aim of the project?
Delineation of risk factors for the development of leprosy reactions in terms of helminth co-infections and micronutrient deficiencies.
What techniques and methods are used?
This study includes: Nutritional biomarker testing: - Vitamin A deficiency: serum retinol binding protein (RBP). - Iron deficiency: ferritin and soluble transferrin receptor (sTfR) levels. - Inflammation: C-reactive protein (CRP) and alpha-1- acid glycoprotein (AGP) will also be assessed to evaluate the presence of inflammation and be able to correct further the surrogate markers for the micronutrients. Immunologic studies: - immunologic cytokine profiles: interferon-gamma (IFN-γ), interleukin IL-10, IL-4, IL-6, and IL-5, with IL-4 and IL-10 typical of T helper Th2 responses. Methodology: PBMC activation in vitro culture by specific antigen (M. leprae and helminth). - presence of circulating regulatory T-cells (T-regs). Prospective collection, statistical analysis and interpretation of data, including socioeconomic status questionnaire and microbiology laboratory results.
What is the role of the student?
- The student will observe the practical experiments but will be highly involved in the analysis of the results
- The tasks will be done under supervision
What are the tasks expected to be accomplished by the student?
Clinical home exams to detect new cases of leprosy. Collecting of blood and stools samples. Parasitological exams and serology for Schistosoma mansoni and Strongyloides stercolis infection will also be performed on all participants. Evaluation of immunological and nutritional parameters. Database development and statistical analysis. Return of the clinical examination results and parasitological exams of the participants. Writing reports, abstracts and poster for project presentation at scientific events and interdisciplinary seminars.
Will there be any theoretical teaching provided (preliminary readings, lectures, courses, seminars etc)
Increase the body of knowledge on the associations between parasitic worm infections and leprosy as well as between micronutrient deficiencies and leprosy, and increase the immunologic understanding of these cases. Delineation of risk factors for the development of leprosy reactions in terms of helminth co-infections and micronutrient deficiencies.
What is expected from the student at the end of the research exchange? What will be the general outcome of the student?
- The student will prepare a poster
- The student will prepare a scientific report
What skills are required of the student? Is there any special knowledge or a certain level of studies needed?
Immunology, Biochemistry, Parasitology and Semiology.
Are there any legal limitations in the student’s involvement
Type of students accepted
This project accepts:
- Medical students
- Piris A; Lobo AZ; Moschella SL; 2010. Global dermatopathology: Hansen's disease--current concepts and challenges. J Cutan Pathol 37 Suppl 1: 125-36. Passos Vazquez CM; Mendes Netto RS; Ferreira Barbosa KB; Rodrigues de Moura T; de Almeida RP; Duthie MS; Ribeiro de Jesus A; 2014. Micronutrients influencing the immune response in leprosy. Nutr Hosp 29: 26-36. Marçal; Pedro Henrique Ferreira ; Fraga; Lúcia Alves De Oliveira ; Mattos; Ana Márcia Menezes De ; Menegati; Laura ; Coelho; Angélica Da Conceição Oliveira ; Pinheiro; Roberta Olmo ; Sarno; Euzenir Nunes ; Duthie; Malcolm S ; Teixeira; Henrique Couto . Utility of immunoglobulin isotypes against LID-1 and NDOLID for; particularly IgG1; confirming the diagnosis of multibacillary leprosy. Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz ; v. 113; p. 1/8-8/8; 2018. Gama; Rafael Silva ; Gomides; Thalisson Artur Ribeiro ; Gama; Chaiana Fróes Magalhães ; Moreira; Suelen Justo Maria ; De Neves Manta; Fernanda Saloum ; De Oliveira; Lorena Bruna P. ; Marçal; Pedro Henrique Ferreira ; Sarno; Euzenir Nunes ; Moraes; Milton Ozório ; Garcia; Raúl Marcel González ; De Oliveira Fraga; Lucia Alves. High frequency of M. leprae DNA detection in asymptomatic household contacts. BMC Infectious Diseases ; v. 18; p. 01-06; 2018. Lima; R. S. K. E. ; Oliveira; L. B. P. ; Gama; R. S. ; Ferreira; J. A. G. ; Grossi; M. A. F. ; Fairley; J. K. ; Silva; F. G. ; Fraga; L. A. O. . The importance of active surveillance as a strategy IFMSA International Secretariat; c/o IMCC; Nørre Allé 14; 2200 København N.; Denmark to control leprosy in endemic areas. Hansenologia Internationalis (Online); v. 41; p. 55-63; 2018.