Reunião de avaliação do INCT-DR

03/01/2010 09:00
03/02/2010 19:30
America/Sao Paulo

Evaluation of the INCT-DT program and celebration of 40 years of contribution of Dr. Warren Johnson to scientific research in Bahia and Brazil

The INCT-DT conducted between march 1-2,2010 an evaluation of the program with external foreign eveluators: Dr Mary Wilson, Professor of Infectious Diseases and Head of the Center for Global Health of the University of Iowa, Dr Philip Scott, Head of the Immunology Division of the Veterinary Medical School, University of Pennsylvania and Dr Lee Riley Professor of Molecular Epidemiology, University of California at Berkley.  During this period 8 ongoing projects were presented.  The presentations were preceded by conferences from two of the evaluators,  Mary Wilson and Philip Scott.

Participating institutions

Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Norte
Instituto de Ciencias da Saude, Universidade Federal da Bahia
Universidade Federal da Minas Gerais
FIOCRUZ CPqRR, Minas Gerais
Faculdade de Medicina, Universidade Federal da Bahia

Program of the evaluation Committee

01/03 - Monday

09:00 - Dr. Mary Wilson´s Conference: Dynamics of the inflammatory response to Leishmania infantum chagasi
10:00 – External evaluation of the National Institution in Science and Technology of Tropical Diseases: Drs Philip Scott, Mary Wilson and Lee Riley
Objectives of the Program - Edgar M. Carvalho
10:15– Community participation program: Access to health and schistosomiasis control in an endemic area in the Jequitinhonha Valley, M.G. - Andréa Gazzinelli
10:45 – Analysis of the immune response of endemic populations and its relationship to resistance and susceptibility - Rodrigo Correa Oliveira
11:15 - Schistosoma mansoni tegument proteins with immunomodulatory properties and as vaccine candidates - Sérgio Costa Oliveira
12:00 – Lunch

02/03 - Tuesday

07:30 – Dr Phillip Scott´s Conference: Early heterogeneity in the T cell response to Leishmania major
External evaluation of the National Institution in Science and Technology of Tropical Diseases: Drs Philip Scott, Mary Wilson and Lee Riley
8:45 – Epidemiology and spatial aggregation of Hansen’s disease in Rio Grande do Norte: the role of active cases search - Selma Jerônimo
9:15 – Identification of immunological markers associated with pathology and resistence in Chagas disease: host’s gene polymorphisms and immunoregulation - Walderez Dutra
9:45 – Canine visceral leishmaniasis: assessment of multiple recombinant antigens for serodiagnosis and production and assessment of recombinant canine cytokines (IL-12, IL-2, IL-7 and IL-15) for future immunotherapeutic studies - Geraldo Gileno
10:15 – Biomarkers of disease expression in HTLV-1 infection - Edgar M. Carvalho


Andrea Gazzinelli - Community participation program: Access to schistosomiasis control and health care in an endemic area in the Jequitinhonha Valley, MG. This project constitutes a multi-faceted approach to assessing the impediments to anti-schistosomal health care, and helping a community to lower the incidence of disease. The approaches included interview of community leaders, observations of living conditions, and assessment of the risks of infection. Methods to decrease the prevalence of schistosomiasis included methods to educate school children, increase awareness of schistosomiasis in the community, improving access to clean water through a central distribution area, remodeling a laundry and work with health agents. The impediments to each of these intervention goals were outlined.
Overall the project is proceeding very well and the reviewers are very positive. The measures to intervene in disease are difficult to implement, but the group is succeeding through a multi-faceted approach. One of the problems underscored by Professor Gazzinelli is the difficulty in ensuring interventions are long-term, given the frequent turnover of health care workers in the region. Our only suggestions are to actively employ community members and leaders in the control programs, and if possible to expand educational school programs to include assignments for interventions in the homes.

Rodrigo Correa Oliveira - Analysis of the immune response of endemic populations to Schistosoma mansoni infection, and the relationship to resistance and susceptibility. This project constitutes an assessment of IgE anti-SEA and anti-SWAP, and of eosinophilia in individuals exposed to Schistosoma mansoni. The intensity of the immune response is being correlated with the degree and mode of exposure, age, risk activities, pathology, and immune response. The correlation between epidemiology and basic immunology is unique, and likely to provide perspective to the literature about immune responses in this disease. Some surprising findings are the lack of expansion of FoxP3-expressing regulatory cells, and potential involvement of regulatory B cells. The investigator did not have time to summarize, but the future correlation to genetics will be of great interest, as these biomarkers may not only be markers of disease severity but also of genetic predispositions.

Sergio Costa Oliveira – Schistosoma mansoni tegument proteins with immunomodulatory properties as vaccine candidates
This was a fascinating summary of efforts to identify S. mansoni proteins that are associated with markers of protective immunity, and immunomodulatory effects in another disease, asthma. The group found an involvement of dendritic cell activation through TLRs, and that immunomodulation involves larval and adult worm antigens preferentially over egg antigens.  These studies are important and may yield useful molecules for both anti-schistosomal vaccination and for modulation of disease mediated by inflammation. The project is still in its initial stages. It will be important, as the investigator outlined, to extend findings in mice to serological studies in specimens from human disease.

Selma Jeronimo - Epidemiology and spatial aggregation of Hansen’s disease in Rio Grande do Norte: Active case search. Professora Jeronimo summarized a major project in which her group is discovering the incidence and form of leprosy in three cities of Rio Grande do Norte with previously reported low disease incidence. Through case detection and education of the community about self-referral to the research group, many previously unrecognized cases of the disease have been found and referred to treatment. The project involves georeferencing, examination, evaluation of epidemiology risk factors, education of health care workers, evaluation of better detection methods (quantiferon), and studies of genetic susceptibility using a candidate gene and case-control approach.
The project is going well including the educational aspects of the project. Dr. Jeronimo underscored the problem of turnover of health care workers as a worry about the longevity of the interventions. This is a difficult problem, and as in Pra. Gazzinelli’s project, if possible it may be helpful to involve community leaders and school teachers in intervention programs so that the programs can continue after this project ends.

Walderez Dutra – Identification of immunological markers associated with pathology and resistance in Chagas’ disease: host gene polymorphisms and immunoregulation.  This project constitutes a careful determination of immune cell phenotypes, discerned by surface markers, in the progression of Chagas’ disease. Observations are correlated with cytokines promoting progression or non-progression. The investigators are also examining genotype at candidate genes that may mark a more susceptible versus more resistant phenotype. The latter goal is supported by a network of Chagas’ disease workers providing DNA samples.   This is elegant work and it is progressing very well. The finding that the production of proinflammatory and regulatory cytokines by certain T cell subsets (CD28-, Vb5+) could be correlated with indeterminant and cardiac forms of the disease was very important. It may be worthwhile for the network to set as a future goal the gathering of enough samples for a case control genome wide association study. For this purpose one hopes controls are carefully selected from each endemic region.

Geraldo Gileno – Canine visceral leishmaniasis: assessment of multiple recombinant antigens for serodiagnosis and production and assessment of recombinant canine cytokines for future immunotherapeutic studies.  This is a study of canine leishmaniasis with the dual aims of detecting recombinant antigens that could be useful for serodiagnosis of subclinical disease, and cloning and purification of recombinant canine cytokines/cytokine-DNA vaccines for the purpose of immunotherapy.  The work is important for potential detection and removal of an important reservoir of L. chagasi infection in Brazil. The serodiagnostic work is going well and ample samples are being collected. The work with recombinant cytokines led reviewers to a few questions. It seems unlikely that either recombinant protein or DNA vaccines will be used for treatment of stray dogs, a major reservoir of visceral leishmaniasis, due to the high expense of cytokines and the simpler solution of dog euthanasia. A suggestion for this project is to develop a consortium of veterinarians with serum samples to test recombinant antigens in a larger group of dogs from different geographic regions of Brazil.

Edgar Carvalho – Biomarkers of disease expression in HTLV-1 infection.  Dr. Carvalho and colleagues are pioneers in examining factors associated with the development of different manifestations of HTLV1 infection, particularly the spectrum of manifestations prior to the development of HAM-TSP. Immune markers of progression are used to categorize changes in cytokines and cell markers associated with progression.  The work is important and sentinel. Northeast Brazil is one of the few locations were the disease is highly endemic and the work can be done well. A suggestion is to begin a bank of DNA samples with carefully chosen subjects with different stages of infection from asymptomatic to severe, and uninfected controls of the same ethnic background and sex, for a future coordinated study of genetic markers of disease progression. A consortium of institutions would be a better forum for this goal than a single site.

Overall Suggestions

  • The 2-day symposium was outstanding. The reviewers suggest opening this to scientists at the university and FIOCRUZ, so that trainees and faculty members can benefit from the work.
  • The program shows outstanding work on human immune responses and beginnings of human genetics. There is one project focused on biological and genetic variability of the pathogen (L. braziliensis). The reviewers suggest that all project leaders consider how to expand their work to examine pathogen polymorphisms and/or biological variations in the future. In addition, studies to examine pathogen factors associated with characteristic host immune response could be expanded.
  • A cataloging of trainees involved in the projects would be helpful in assessing the success of this goal in the overall project.

Program of the Celebration: March 1st, 2010

9:00-10:00 Seminar: Dynamics of the inflammatory response to Leishmania infantum chagasi
Local: Room 4A, HUPES, UFBA
Mary Wilson
11:00-12:00 Seminar: Impact of climate change in infectious disease spread: focus on arthropod-borne viruses (Arboviruses)
Local: Aluísio Prata Pavillion, Fiocruz
Maria Rios
13:15-14:00 Tour of Fiocruz Mitermayer Reis
14:00-14:30 Opening remarks and history of Cornell-Bahia collaboration
Local: Aluísio Prata Pavillion, Fiocruz
Edgar Carvalho
14:30 Why digestive disease research in developing countries matters: Highlights from 30 years of U.S.-Brazilian scientific collaborations Aldo Lima
15:00-16:15 Warren’s contribution to bacterial disease Mitermayer Reis
15:00 Polymorphism of Streptococcus pneumoniae and clinical manifestations of the disease Joice Reis Pedreira
15:25 Identification of Ligs proteins for diagnosis and vaccine development: Model for training in scientific research Julio Croda
15:50 Natural history of urban leptospirosis Guilherme Ribeiro
16:15-16:35 Coffee Break  
16:35-18:40 Warren’s contribution to HIV and TB Zilton Andrade
16:35 HIV/AIDS – 30 Years of Progress Roy Gulick
17:00 AIDS: Changing Populations Eduardo Netto
17:25 IFN gamma release for diagnosing and response to INH treatment of latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI) in Salvador, Bahia Sergio Arruda
17:50 Host Immune responses in the lungs during and after tuberculosis treatment José Roberto Lapa e Silva
18:40-19:05 Closing remarks for Day 1 Lee Riley and Mitermayer Reis
 20:00 Dinner  

March 2nd, 2010

7:30-8:30 Seminar: Early heterogeneity in the T cell response to Leishmania major
Local: Room 4D, HUPES, UFBA
Phillip Scott
11:00-12:00 Seminar: Malnutrition is an enteric infectious disease with long term consequences to child development
Local: Aluísio Prata Pavillion, Fiocruz
Richard Guerrant
13:30-14:30 Tour of FAMEB – Terreiro de Jesus José Tavares-Neto
14:30-14:50 Opening remarks
Local: Anfiteatro Prof. Alfredo Thomé de Britto da Faculdade de Medicina da Bahia/UFBA, Largo do Terreiro de Jesus
Richard Guerrant
14:50-16:30 Warren’s contribution to tropical diseases: Chagas´s disease and leishmaniasis Mary Wilson
14:50 Donor screening for Trypanosoma cruzi in Non-endemic Countries: the Brazilian Influence Celso Bianco
15:15 Transfer of KDNA from American trypanosomes to human hosts and pathogenesis of Chagas disease Antônio Teixeira
15:40 Real time in vivo GFP imaging in a murine leishmaniasis model: a new tool for Roberto Badaró
16:05 Genetic studies in cutaneous and mucosal leishmaniasis in Bahia, Brazil Amélia Ribeiro de Jesus
16:30-17:00 Coffee break  
17:00-18:40  Warren’s contribution to tropical diseases: Tegumentary leishmaniasis Phillip Scott 
17h00  The Leishmania braziliensis genetic polymorphism influences complex phenotypes like clinical outcome and distribution of American leishmaniasis Albert Schriefer 
17:25 Functional diversity in Leishmania braziliensis and chagasi are associated with differences in disease outcome and immune response Roque Pacheco
17:50 Regulation of inflammatory response in tegumentary leishmaniasis Lucas Carvalho
18:20 Immunoregulatory networks in human leishmaniasis: perspectives for novel therapies Kenneth Gollob
18:50-19:30 Closing remarks Thomaz Cruz, Albert Ko Edgar Carvalho and Warren Johnson, Jr.
19:30 Cocktail celebration at Old Campus of the School of Medicine, Federal University of Bahia in Pelourinho – Terreiro de Jesus