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Aida M. C. Esteves is since 2006 Associate Professor in Virology/Medical Microbiology, at the Instituto de Higiene e Medicina Tropical, Universidade Nova de Lisboa (IHMT/UNL).
She has a degree in Biology (1982) from the Faculdade de Ciências of the Universidade de Lisboa (FCUL), and a PhD in Genetics (1989) from the same university with a thesis on characterization of African swine fever virus (ASFV) proteins, accomplished at Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência (IGC, Oeiras, Portugal). Later on she moved to the Laboratório Nacional de Engenharia e Tecnologia Industrial, Lisbon, to develop liposomal formulations in collaboration with the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. As a post-doc student (1991-1995) worked in IGC on the construction of vaccinia vectors for ASFV antigens.
In 1997, she joined the IHMT as a Virology teacher and since then has been in charge of virology classes, covering both molecular and classic virology areas, in regular PhD and MSc Courses in Medical Microbiology, Biomedical Sciences, and Medical Parasitology (UNL) and at the Graduation Course in Cellular and Molecular Biology, FCT, UNL.
Her main research interests have been: i) molecular epidemiology and drug resistance of HIV strains circulating in Portugal, Guinea-Bissau, and Mozambique; ii) genetic characterization of blood-borne virus (HCV, GBV-C, TTV) in intravenous-drug users; iii) surveillance of arboviruses in mosquitoes of Portugal; and iv) chikungunya virus-like particles production in mammalian and insect cells. In the last five years the epidemiological work focused also on virus causing gastroenteritis circulating in African countries and on isolation and characterization of new simian enteric virus.
A. Esteves has led and collaborated in several research projects in the above areas, supervised 5 students on final-year research projects, 11 MSc students and is currently co-supervising 3 more MSc students.
She is co-author of 30 peer reviewed publications in international journals, 5 book chapters and 117 communications in scientific meetings.
In the last four years, the team has focused on molecular epidemiology of virus causing acute gastroenteritis (AGE) in young children from Angola and S. Tomé e Príncipe, namely rotaviruses (RV), astroviruses, adenoviruses, and noroviruses, before RV vaccine introduction in these countries. These baseline studies revealed the circulation of uncommon viral strains for all the virus analysed and will contribute for assessment of vaccine efficacy, emergency of novel RV strains and shift on AGE aetiological agents.
Still concerning enteric viruses, we have been isolating adenoviruses from faecal samples of non-human primates housed in the Lisbon Zoo. New putative adenovirus species were identified that deserve further characterization considering their potential use as gene therapy and vaccine vectors. In collaboration with the Medical Entomology Group at IHMT, new insect viruses were isolated and characterized. At the moment we intend to evaluate their effect on the replication of pathogenic arboviruses in insect cells and their potential use on arbovirus control.
- Carapeta, S., do Bem, B. , McGuinness, J., Esteves, A., Abecasis, A., Lopes, A., de Matos, A.P., Piedade, J., Almeida, A.P.G., Parreira, R. (2015). Negeviruses found in multiple species of mosquitoes from southern Portugal: isolation, genetic diversity, and replication in insect cell culture. Virology 483:318-28.
- Calado RA, Rocha MR, Parreira R, Piedade J, Venenno T, Esteves A. (2011) Hepatitis C virus subtypes circulating among intravenous drug users in Lisbon, Portugal. J Med Virol. 83, 608-615.
- Parreira, R., Severino, P., Freitas, F., Piedade, J., Almeida, A.P.G., Esteves, A. (2007). Two distinct introductions of the West Nile virus in Portugal disclosed by phylogenetic analysis of genomic sequences. Vector-Borne Zoonotic Dis.7:344-352.
- Esteves, A., Parreira, R., Piedade, J., Venneno, T., Franco, M., Germano de Sousa, J., Patrício, L., Brum, P., Costa, A., Canas-Ferreira, W.F. (2003) Spreading of HIV-1 subtype G and envB/gagG recombinant strains among injecting drug users (IDUs) in Lisbon, Portugal. AIDS Res. Hum. Retroviruses. 19:511-517.
- Esteves, A., Parreira, R., Venneno, T., Franco, M., Piedade J., Germano de Sousa J., Canas-Ferreira, W.F. (2002). Molecular Epidemiology of HIV type 1 infection in Portugal: High prevalence of non-B subtypes. AIDS Res. Hum. Retroviruses. 18:313-325.