Head of the Molecular Virology Laboratory at UFRJ’s Biology Institute, Amílcar Tanuri is one of the leading Brazilian experts in HIV and Zika research. Over the years, he has primarily focused on the study of HIV, its genetic diversity and the virus’s resistance to drugs. Since 2000, he has consulted for the World Health Organization’s HIV ResNet, a research network on HIV drug resistance.
In the project supported by Serrapilheira during the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Tanuri is studying how Brazilian patients’ immune systems respond to infections with the novel coronavirus. He is focusing on healthcare workers, who are at high risk of exposure to SARS-CoV-2. The research team includes professors Orlando Ferreira Junior, André Vale, Luciana Costa, and Ronaldo Mohana.
COVID-19, a new disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, was first reported in Wuhan, China in December 2019. It quickly spread worldwide, and the World Health Organization declared it a pandemic on March 13, 2020. Preliminary studies suggest that variants of the virus may be circulating in Brazil, but more data is needed. A project led by UFRJ virologist Amílcar Tanuri aims to understand how the immune systems of Brazilian patients respond to SARS-CoV-2 infection by focusing on healthcare workers, who are at high risk of exposure. The research is supported by a partnership between Serrapilheira and the D’Or Institute for Research and Education (IDOR).