Research Group Coordinator – Isabel Couto
The main aim of the THOP Research Group is the analysis of the molecular epidemiology, drug-resistance mechanisms, and the development of new drugs and diagnostics for tuberculosis, HIV and opportunistic diseases in a global health context.
In 2022, work continued on the analysis of antibacterial and antiretroviral resistance and on the molecular characterization of the main lineages of opportunistic, emerging and reemerging pathogens. Several projects were concluded and others initiated, establishing new lines of research in drug repositioning for multidrugresistant infections, metavirome analysis of wastewater and the study of SARS-CoV-2 variants to improve epidemic response.
THOP members participated in the establishment of GHTM´s BIOMOL MINION laboratory and several capacity building initiatives within the CPLP sphere, with external partners and collaborators, and organized the first Summer School on Antimicrobial Resistance.
THOP´s 2022 highlights within the GHTM main cross-cutting issues (CCIs)
CCI DDR – Drug discovery and resistance
- Updated approaches for anti-tuberculosis agent susceptibility evaluation;
- Breakpoint calibration for 2nd line drugs against Mycobacterium tuberculosis;
- Drug repurposing studies for Neisseria gonorrhoeae;
- Characterization of main antibiotic resistant staphylococcal lineages causing infections in companion animals;
- First description on efflux pump NorA determinant across staphylococci;
- Characterization of resistance to antiretrovirals;
- Repurposing of drugs for inhibition of SARS-CoV-2 replication;
- Molecular epidemiology of HBV in Angola: drug resistance and immune escape mutants (w/IHC).
CCI GPPM – Global pathogen dispersion and population mobility
- Phylogeography, dispersion of HIV and resistance to antiretrovirals in Portugal, with a special focus on vulnerable populations;
- Impact of COVID on migrants (w/ PPS);
- Phylogeography of HBV;
- Genome-wide diversity of Zika virus; proposal of a new nomenclature;
- Description of rotavirus genomic diversity in Mozambique;
- Effect of oral polio vaccine campaigns on infants respiratory and gut microbiome in Guinea-Bissau (w/ VBD)
CCI DG – Diagnostics
- Epidemiology of M/XDR-TB;
- Pilot study on Galleria mellonella as an in vivo model for virulence studies;
- Characterization of the virulence potential of three staphylococcal species;
- Description of Pneumocystis jirovecii colonization in preterm newborns;
- Molecular characterization of intestinal parasites in children with diarrhea in Mozambique;
- Microbicidal activity of macrophages exposed to pathogenic spirochetes Borrelia garinii and B. lusitaniae (collab. with VBD);
- Launch of the EuCARE project on SARS-CoV-2 variants.