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Grupo GHTM: VBD PhD members, Vector-borne diseases and pathogens
Ricardo Manuel Soares Parreira currently holds the position of Associate Professor at the Institute of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (IHMT) since 2020, where he started working in 1997. At the present, RP is a member of the Virology Group of the Medical Microbiology Unit and of the Vector-Transmitted Diseases Group of the Global Health and Tropical Medicine Research Center (GHTM).
He holds a degree in Applied Plant Biology bestowed by the Faculty of Sciences of the University of Lisbon (1992) and a PhD in Genetics and Microbial Physiology from the University of Paris XI (Orsay Center; 1996).
At IHMT, most of the work carried out in the last 10 years has focused on the analysis of viruses associated with hematophagous arthropods, and, in particular, those found in mosquitoes and ticks. RP is interested in the discovery of new viruses, the characterization of their genomes, and the ways these viruses are dispersed over time and space. In his worl, he uses a series of complementary technical approaches, which combine classical virology, molecular biology and bioinformatics (essentially involving phylogenetic inference and phylogeography). Many collaborations have also led to the publication of studies on viral discovery and characterization associated with both waste and environmental water samples (e.g. including the characterization of the viromes of fish from the Portuguese coast, the analysis of Human polyomaviruses and adenoviruses), using directed as well as metagenomic based viral surveys. In addition to viral-focused work, RP has also been using many bioinformatics tools towards the study of hematophagous arthropod vector diversity and taxonomy.
- Molecular epidemiology of viral infections, with special interest in those caused by viruses such as human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), hepatitis C (HCV), Torque-Teno (TTV), human pegivirus (HPgV/GBV-C), arbovirus such as West Nile virus (WNV), Zika (ZIKV) and dengue virus (DENV) circulating in Portugal, Guinea-Bissau, Angola, Mozambique and São-Tomé and Príncipe.
- Directed research of viral genomes (RNA and DNA), and use of approaches from the field of metagenomics for the study of mosquito viromes, as well as those associated with wastewater.
- Isolation of new viruses and RNA and DNA associated with hematophagous arthropods, in particular mosquitoes and ticks, including the characterization of their genomes and analysis of their spatiotemporal dispersion using computational approaches in the field of phylogeography.
- Analysis of mosquito virus replication in insect cell (including analysis of superinfection exclusion phenomena).
- Use of molecular markers as complementary tool to classical taxonomical identification of phlebotomine sand flies, ticks and afro-tropical mosquitoes.
- Parreira R. 2018. Laboratory Methods in Molecular Epidemiology: Viral Infections. Microbiol Spectr. 2018 Nov;6(6). DOI: 10.1128/microbiolspec.AME-0003-2018.
- Pimentel V, Afonso R, Nunes M, Vieira ML, Bravo-Barriga D, Frontera E, Martinez M, Pereira A, Maia C, Paiva-Cardoso MDN, Freitas FB, Abecasis AB, Parreira R. 2019. Geographic dispersal and genetic diversity of tick-borne phleboviruses (Phenuiviridae, Phlebovirus) as revealed by the analysis of L segment sequences. Ticks Tick Borne Dis. 10(4):942-948. COI: 10.1016/j.ttbdis.2019.05.001.
- Abílio AP, Silva M, Kampango A, Narciso I, Samo Gudo E, das Neves LCB, Sidat M, Fafetine JM, de Almeida APG, Parreira R. 2020. A survey of RNA viruses in mosquitoes from Mozambique reveals novel genetic lineages of flaviviruses and phenuiviruses, as well as frequent flavivirus-like viral DNA forms in Mansonia. BMC Microbiol. 20(1):225. doi: 10.1186/s12866-020-01905-5.
- Condez AC, Nunes M, Filipa-Silva A, Leonardo I, Parreira R. Human Polyomaviruses (HPyV) in Wastewater and Environmental Samples from the Lisbon Metropolitan Area: Detection and Genetic Characterization of Viral Structural Protein-Coding Sequences. Pathogens. 10(10):1309. doi: 10.3390/pathogens10101309.
- Morais P, Trovão NS, Abecasis AB, Parreira R. 2021. Genetic lineage characterization and spatiotemporal dynamics of classical insect-specific flaviviruses: outcomes and limitations. Virus Research. 303:198507. doi: 10.1016/j.virusres.2021.198507. Epub 2021 Jul 13.