FAPESP’s main actions to deal with the pandemic caused by the novel coronavirus
Hunger increases risk of contracting COVID-19 by 76% for children in a city in the Amazon (August 03, 2022)
In a longitudinal survey of children born in 2015 and 2016 in a city in Acre State, North Brazil, over half of the participants reported experiencing hunger in the previous month. The occurrence of symptoms also correlated with social vulnerability, and with the mother’s schooling and skin color.
Agreement will permit installation of Pasteur Institute unit in the state of São Paulo (July 20, 2022)
The agreement was signed between the University of São Paulo, the state government and Pasteur Institute at an event held to celebrate the 200th anniversary of Louis Pasteur’s birth and FAPESP’s 60th anniversary. FAPESP renewed and expanded its support for the Scientific Platform Pasteur-USP, which will host the new research unit.
Study reveals how novel coronavirus manipulates cells to replicate (July 13, 2022)
Brazilian researchers have discovered that PCNA, a protein present in the nuclei of human cells, interacts with the SARS-CoV-2 membrane matrix protein M. In laboratory tests, inhibition of this mechanism using a drug reduced viral replication by 15%-20%.
Study shows that 8% of athletes have persistent symptoms after contracting COVID-19 (July 06, 2022)
Researchers at the University of São Paulo analyzed 43 scientific articles with data for some 11,500 athletes. The findings point to the need for carefully personalized assessment of athletes and sports players before a resumption of training is allowed, they warn.
How the pandemic and social distancing have changed our perception of time (June 29, 2022)
Brazilian researchers surveyed 900 volunteers via an online platform for five months. Most reported feeling that time passed more slowly during home confinement in the early months of the pandemic, associating this perception with feelings of loneliness and a lack of positive experiences in the period.
Scientists use human breast milk to treat prolonged COVID-19 in a severely immunodeficient patient (June 22, 2022)
The female patient had a genetic disease that dysregulates the immune system, impairing its inflammatory response and antibody production. The virus was eliminated after week-long ingestion of breast milk donated by a woman who had been vaccinated against SARS-CoV-2. The case is reported in the journal Viruses by researchers at the University of Campinas in Brazil.
Low-cost 3D model is expected to accelerate research on neurological effects of COVID-19 (June 15, 2022)
A bioink developed from mouse cells can be used in a 3D printer to create a model that more closely resembles the brain than conventional ones. Researchers at the Federal University of São Paulo also obtained an adapted version of SARS-CoV-2 capable of infecting neural cells from mice.
Biodegradable fabric neutralizes bacteria and viruses, including SARS-CoV-2 (June 08, 2022)
The material, created by startup Protech, can be used in face masks and surgical gowns. Other applications identified by the firm’s founder during the training course offered by the FAPESP Innovative Research in Small Business Program (PIPE) include air conditioning filters, diapers and tampons.
Study reinforces importance of high-quality face coverings in schools (June 01, 2022)
Mathematic simulations showed that well-executed non-pharmacological measures reduce the spread of COVID-19 even in places with low vaccination coverage. According to the authors, however, up to 80% of the population could catch the disease if preventive protocols are abandoned.
Light-based therapies achieve good results in rehabilitation of patients with post-COVID complications (May 18, 2022)
Devices that combine laser irradiation, ultrasound and suction help regenerate tissue and treat muscle, joint, skin, neurological and lung damage. Protocols created via business-university partnerships are being tested and can be applied by treatment centers across Brazil.
Revealed mechanism underlying progression to severe COVID-19 in lungs; possible novel therapeutic targets (May 11, 2022)
Scientists at a consortium of Brazilian universities show how the enzyme storm triggered by SARS-CoV-2 damages the lungs and may cause lasting complications.
Company based in São Paulo develops self-test that detects all variants of SARS-CoV-2 (April 20, 2022)
The startup supported by FAPESP produces all of the inputs for the test and will supply them to partner companies that will assemble kits and distribute them to retailers.
Metabolic syndrome impairs pulmonary function and immune response in over-sixties, study shows (April 06, 2022)
Results published in Scientific Reports by a research group at the Federal University of São Paulo help scientists understand why patients with metabolic syndrome are among those worst affected by COVID-19.
Evidence abounds for capacity of physical activity to combat complications from COVID-19, scientist says (March 30, 2022)
In an editorial in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, Bruno Gualano, a professor at the University of São Paulo (Brazil), reviews what scientists know about the relationship between regular exercise and the disease caused by SARS-CoV-2.
Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine as booster magnifies antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 by a factor of 25 (March 23, 2022)
Brazilian researchers measured this increase in immunity in a study involving health workers who had received two doses of CoronaVac. In subjects given the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, the same booster raised immunity by a factor of 7.
Even mild or moderate COVID-19 can affect the cardiovascular system in young adults, study shows (March 16, 2022)
Researchers at São Paulo State University followed young men and women aged 20-40 without pre-existing disease. The findings show that obesity and physical inactivity increase the impact of the disease on the autonomic nervous system, which regulates blood pressure, heart rate and breathing, among other functions.
Attendance of online classes by school students with mental health problems fell during pandemic (March 9, 2022)
Study involving 672 Brazilians aged 16-24 with internet access showed that distance education did not have a direct impact on mental health.
Home exercise training with remote supervision can assist post-COVID rehabilitation (March 2, 2022)
Brazilian researchers conducted a randomized clinical trial to test the safety and efficacy of a 12-week home exercise program for 32 volunteers who had been hospitalized after contracting COVID-19.
Vaccination has changed the profile of hospitalized COVID-19 patients and those who die from the disease (February 23, 2022)
Brazilian researchers analyzed data for 2,777 patients hospitalized between January 5 and September 12, 2021. For those who had been fully vaccinated, being over 60 and having kidney failure were the sole predictors of hospitalization and death from COVID-19.
Study shows high prevalence of depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder after COVID-19 (February 16, 2022)
Brazilian researchers tracked 425 patients for six to nine months after hospital discharge. Over half reported memory decline, and tests showed significant cognitive impairments in the group.
How front-line physicians have experienced two months of omicron in Brazil (February 16, 2022)
Although this variant of SARS-CoV-2 is less aggressive, the explosive growth of case numbers has again driven health services to the verge of collapse. Lack of tests and a “data blackout” at the Health Ministry make an accurate assessment of the situation impossible.
Omicron has mutations detected in previous variants, which explains vaccine effectiveness, scientists say (February 09, 2022)
An article in the Journal of Medical Virology by researchers affiliated with the Federal University of São Paulo in Brazil argues that this is the reason for the relatively small proportion of severe cases and deaths among vaccinated patients despite omicron’s greatly increased transmissibility.
Researchers at a Brazilian university develop a protocol for 3D printing of brain cells (February 02, 2022)
The technique is used for in vitro studies of the behavior of astrocytes in a three-dimensional format, and can be adapted for neurons and other cell types. The model has been used to investigate the effects of COVID-19 on the central nervous system.
SARS-CoV-2 can remain active for longer than recommended quarantine period, study shows (January 26, 2022)
Brazilian researchers followed 38 COVID-19 patients and found that it took a month on average for the diagnostic test to become negative. In three patients, the virus remained detectable for more than 70 days.
Novel method detects SARS-CoV-2 directly in nasal swabs (January 26, 2022)
A system developed by Brazilian researchers detects the presence of the virus in a nasopharyngeal swab in less than a minute.
Webinar discusses impact of eScience and Data Science on social research and public policy (January 26, 2022)
Scientists affiliated with institutions in Brazil and elsewhere presented research findings that highlighted the importance of data sharing in the fight against COVID-19.
Mask wearing during exercise does not affect breathing or cardiovascular fitness (January 19, 2022)
The results of a study by researchers at the University of São Paulo could serve as a basis for new recommendations on health and fitness during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Prevention of mental health problems among schoolchildren could avoid grade repetition and dropout (January 19, 2022)
A study by Brazilian and British scientists involved 2,511 families with children aged 6-14. The findings show that externalizing disorders such as attention deficit and hyperactivity have more adverse effects than conditions associated with anxiety and fear.
Diagnostics, vaccines and public policies have improved thanks to FAPESP-supported research on COVID-19 (December 22, 2021)
Participants in an online seminar presented the results of research projects approved under a fast-track call issued by FAPESP at the start of the pandemic. The projects led to important discoveries on the mechanisms of the disease, development of vaccine and diagnostic technologies, and a deeper understanding of the role of governments in public health emergencies.
Implementation science contributes to adoption of new practices in public health, specialists say (December 01, 2021)
Speakers of an online seminar organized by FAPESP detailed methods used to identify and remove barriers that delay or interrupt effective interventions.
SARS-CoV-2 increases brain cell energy expenditure in order to replicate (November 24, 2021)
Experiments with hamsters and cultured astrocytes point to possible causes of neurological complications in COVID-19 survivors.
FAPESP faced the challenges of the pandemic without compromising its support for other research areas (November 24, 2021)
In 2020, FAPESP disbursed $ PPP 423.3 million to fund 21,233 research projects. It also issued 13 calls for proposals in partnership with foreign organizations and signed seven new cross-border scientific cooperation agreements.
Molecule derived from colorant inactivates SARS-CoV-2 and can be used in oral hygiene products (November 17, 2021)
Collaboration between business and academia in the state of São Paulo proves the virucidal action of iron phthalocyanine and develops a mouthwash containing the compound. In a clinical trial involving patients in the initial stage of infection, the product reduces symptoms and hospital stay.
A webinar discussed Latin American strategies and challenges during the pandemic (November 17, 2021)
The event was the first of a series of three online seminars organized by FAPESP in partnership with sister agencies in Paraguay and Argentina, under the aegis of the Global Research Council (GRC), with the aim of providing opportunities for an exchange of experiences and cross-border collaboration.
Study helps understand why obesity increases risk of cardiovascular complications in COVID-19 (November 10, 2021)
Brazilian researchers conducted a study of 109 hospitalized volunteers in search of the factors that determine endothelial dysfunction, a condition in which the blood vessels become unable to contract and relax adequately, increasing the risk of heart attack, thrombosis and stroke.
Scientists discuss use of artificial intelligence to combat COVID-19 and future pandemics (November 10, 2021)
Models capable of predicting the spread of pathogens, algorithms that monitor health complaints on social media, and the use of big data and machine learning to speed up drug development were some of the issues discussed by experts who took part in a webinar organized by FAPESP and the Global Research Council.
Highly abundant virus in humans could be a biomarker for COVID-19 (November 03, 2021)
A study conducted at the University of São Paulo shows that levels of TTV, an apparently inoffensive virus considered an indicator of immunodepression, tend to be higher in people infected by SARS-CoV-2. TTV load declines as the symptoms of COVID-19 disappear, the researchers write in PLOS ONE.
Heparin dose capable of preventing COVID-19 deaths is four times higher than the dose recommended by WHO (October 27, 2021)
This is one of the main findings of a clinical trial involving 465 patients at 28 hospitals in six countries, including Brazil. The likelihood of dying was 78% lower for the group given a therapeutic dose of the anti-coagulant.
Novel rapid test detects SARS-CoV-2 in saliva and indicates viral load (October 20, 2021)
The portable device developed at the Federal University of São Carlos is as accurate as RT-PCR, the gold standard for diagnosing COVID-19, and can analyze up to 20 samples at the same time.
Research describes two distinct patterns of lung injury in victims of COVID-19 (October 06, 2021)
Lung tissue samples from 47 people who died as a result of severe acute respiratory distress syndrome caused by the novel coronavirus were analyzed by Brazilian researchers. The findings can be used to improve treatment of the disease.
Study: COVID-19 affects transplant recipients differently, possible therapeutic approach suggested (October 06, 2021)
Liver recipients who contracted SARS-CoV-2 recovered faster and with less inflammation than heart or kidney recipients, according to researchers at the University of São Paulo. The reason may have to do with differing amounts and types of immunosuppressants, the drugs used to prevent organ rejection.
Scientists investigate how infection by SARS-CoV-2 can lead to kidney disorders (September 29, 2021)
Loss of ACE2, the protein used by the novel coronavirus to invade human cells, leads to an imbalance in systems that regulate essential metabolic functions, impairing blood filtration and causing kidney injuries that can become permanent.
COVID-19 pandemic is clear wake-up call to monitor for novel infectious agents, scientists warn (September 29, 2021)
In an online seminar held by FAPESP, experts stressed that deforestation favors pathogen spillover from wild animals to humans, and that zoonotic disease surveillance urgently needs to be upgraded.
Presence of antibodies associated with autoimmune diseases can predict COVID-19 severity (September 29, 2021)
Molecules that attack cells and tissues in the patient’s own organism were detected in blood serum from volunteers infected by SARS-CoV-2, who progressed to moderate or severe COVID-19 after the samples were collected. The discovery could lead to novel therapeutic approaches.
Study reveals how saline solution can inhibit replication of SARS-CoV-2 (September 22, 2021)
The use of a hypertonic solution of sodium chloride at 1.1% reduced viral replication by 88% in tests involving infected lung cells conducted by researchers at the University of São Paulo. If found efficacious in clinical trials, the strategy could contribute to the development of novel prophylactic interventions and therapies for COVID-19.
Investing in innovation in the health sector will contribute to national development, scientists insist (September 22, 2021)
Participants in a webinar held by FAPESP pointed to disorganization of the research ecosystem, lack of government planning and underinvestment as obstacles to drug development in Brazil.
SARS-CoV-2 affects the testicles, reducing hormones and sperm quality, studies show (September 15, 2021)
Microscope image of testicular tissue from deceased COVID-19 patient, obtained by minimally invasive autopsy. The image shows infection of several cell types by SARS-CoV-2. Arrows indicate the viral antigen (stained red) in infected cell cytoplasm.
Technique permits genome sequencing of novel coronavirus with 25-fold increase in resolution (September 15, 2021)
For the first time in Brazil, the RNA of SARS-CoV-2 has been directly sequenced by researchers at the Federal University of São Paulo, who studied the biochemical changes that determine the pathogen’s biology and how it is evolving.
Men are the main transmitters of the novel coronavirus, study suggests (September 08, 2021)
The hypothesis was raised by scientists at a FAPESP-funded research center, on the basis of an epidemiological survey involving 1,744 Brazilian couples where at least one partner was infected.
Frail health and anti-Indigenous attitudes have exacerbated deaths from COVID-19 in the Amazon (September 08, 2021)
The warning came from a FAPESP-held webinar in which researchers discussed the present-day and historical factors that explain the inadequate response to the pandemic in Brazil’s North region.
Discovery facilitates search for drug to sabotage replication of SARS-CoV-2 (September 01, 2021)
Scientists at a FAPESP-funded research center investigated the mechanism that produces the main enzyme involved in the virus’s replication in cells. The findings are reported in the Journal of Molecular Biology.
Physically active people respond better to COVID-19 vaccine, study shows (August 25, 2021)
More than 1,000 Brazilian volunteers immunized with the CoronaVac vaccine were assessed by researchers at the University of São Paulo. Those who were active for at least 150 minutes per week without long sedentary periods produced more antibodies against SARS-CoV-2.
Brazilian physicists create a model to predict mutations in SARS-CoV-2 (August 25, 2021)
The study is published in PLOS ONE. Equations suggest viral population variability can be estimated on the basis of epidemiological data.
Pregnant women with COVID-19 face higher risk of pre-eclampsia, study shows (August 25, 2021)
In a review of the scientific literature, researchers at the Federal University of São Paulo concluded that infection by SARS-CoV-2 during pregnancy can reduce the availability of ACE2, a protein that plays an important part in placental development, control of blood pressure, and the circulatory adaptations required for fetal development.
Gamma (P1) is more aggressive but can be contained with vaccine and lockdown, study shows (August 18, 2021)
Correlating whole-genome sequencing with epidemiological data for the city of São José do Rio Preto in Brazil, researchers show that severe COVID-19 and deaths from the disease rose sharply when the variant became prevalent in the region. A two-week lockdown and vaccination of the elderly averted a collapse of the health system.
Drugs used to treat autoimmune rheumatic disease may weaken the immune response induced by COVID-19 (August 11, 2021)
A study published in Nature Medicine evaluated individuals before and after taking CoronaVac. Based on the results, researchers at the University of São Paulo’s Medical School are testing novel strategies such as suspending treatment one or two weeks before vaccination.
Vaccinated people can be infected by and transmit the coronavirus Alpha variant (August 04, 2021)
Outbreaks at two care homes in São Paulo State (Brazil) show that even people who have been vaccinated with one dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine or two doses of CoronaVac can transmit the virus. The cases were asymptomatic or mild and did not require hospitalization, but underscore the importance of rapidly vaccinating the entire population while continuing to require face coverings and social distancing even for those who have been vaccinated.
New studies elucidate the effects of coronavirus on the brain (July 28, 2021)
A webinar held by FAPESP featured researchers from Brazil and Germany whose findings offer clues as to how SARS-CoV-2 invades the central nervous system and which cells are most affected.
Bioluminescent enzyme produced by firefly can be used to detect novel coronavirus (July 28, 2021)
Brazilian researchers coupled the molecule with a protein that binds to SARS-CoV-2. The presence of antibodies against the virus in the sample is confirmed by light emission.
Study points to remotely supervised exercise classes as best option during lockdown (July 21, 2021)
Based on data for 344 volunteers, Brazilian researchers compared the physical and mental health benefits of workouts led in person by a fitness instructor, unsupervised online sessions, and classes supervised remotely via video call. Gradually increasing intensity was associated with improvements in mental health.
Biosensor permits ultra-fast and cheap detection of SARS-CoV-2 (July 21, 2021)
Non-invasive method uses samples of saliva or other body fluids. The diagnosis can be obtained by means of computational techniques for visualizing data and machine learning.
Project creates system to track circulation of variants of SARS-CoV-2 in the city of São Paulo (July 14, 2021)
The initiative is being implemented as a partnership between local government, DASA Laboratories and FAPESP.
Social protection is decisive to contain COVID-19, according to a study covering 77 countries (July 14, 2021)
A project led by researchers at Getúlio Vargas Foundation in Brazil and the University of Michigan in the US produced a detailed analysis of the effects of public policies and government decisions on the response to COVID-19, highlighting the factors that influenced its success or failure in many countries and regions around the world.
COVID-19 Data Sharing/BR repository helps scientists make discoveries in health and computation (July 14, 2021)
The platform holds more than 50 million datasets from 800,000 patients in Brazil and has registered some 4,000 downloads by users in 36 countries.
Study assesses the prevalence of mental illness during the pandemic among people aged 50-80 (July 14, 2021)
The study was conducted in the city of São Paulo, with over 2,000 participants who were active or retired staff of the University of São Paulo and enrolled in the Brazilian Longitudinal Study of Adult Health (ELSA-Brazil). The researchers say the city has one of the highest prevalence rates of psychiatric disorders in the world.
SARS-CoV-2 continued to replicate and mutate in a patient for 218 days (July 07, 2021)
The case of persistent infection was documented by researchers at the University of São Paulo, involving an immunocompromised patient in his forties. Several mutations were detected by whole-genome sequencing of the virus in samples collected during a seven-month period.
Novel coronavirus infects and replicates in salivary gland cells (July 07, 2021)
A study conducted at the University of São Paulo suggests that tissues specializing in saliva production and secretion serve as reservoirs for SARS-CoV-2, magnifying its infectious potential.
Two new COVID-19 tests developed in Brazil are patented (July 07, 2021)
One of the technologies developed has RT-PCR-like precision and can analyze many patient samples simultaneously using a platform available in all Brazilian laboratories. A research group at the Federal University of São Carlos has also created a portable rapid test that detects the viral antigen in saliva and does not require a nasal swab.
FAPESP is supporting the development of nine COVID-19 vaccines (June 30, 2021)
Butantan Institute produces CoronaVac and is testing two new vaccines. Four projects are under way at the University of São Paulo, and two at startups supported by FAPESP’s PIPE innovation funding program.
Transparent mask increases comprehension of speech by 10%, study shows (June 30, 2021)
An online study involving 154 volunteers measured the importance of visual cues to communication for people with normal hearing and hearing loss.
Most survivors of severe COVID-19 experience long-term symptoms of the disease (June 30, 2021)
In an online seminar organized by FAPESP, researchers in Brazil and the United States presented preliminary results of studies on mental health and quality of life among survivors of COVID-19 up to six months after discharge from hospital.
Lack of physical activity while in quarantine had adverse effects on the health of women aged 50-70 (June 30, 2021)
Tests performed by Brazilian researchers after the first 16 weeks of COVID-19-induced confinement showed loss of muscle strength and diminished aerobic capacity, as well as an increase in cholesterol and glycated hemoglobin, both of which are risk factors for metabolic disorders.
Company develops paper that inactivates novel coronavirus (June 30, 2021)
Packaging paper and corrugated cardboard eliminate 99.99% of viral particles in up to 10 minutes of contact.
Concepts from physics explain importance of quarantine to control spread of COVID-19 (June 23, 2021)
A study conducted at São Paulo State University shows that mathematical models used to describe the physical behavior of magnetic materials can also be used to describe the spread of the disease.
Tests show antibodies neutralize P.1 in subjects infected by first strain of novel coronavirus (June 16, 2021)
Researchers at the University of São Paulo conducted experiments with blood plasma from 60 volunteers infected in 2020 by SARS-CoV-2 lineage B.1.1.28. In 84% of cases, antibodies in the samples neutralized the Gamma variant in cultured cells.
COVID-19 creates conditions for emergence of ‘superfungus’ in Brazil (June 16, 2021)
The presence of Candida auris in a hospital in Salvador, Bahia, was confirmed at end-2020 and reported in an article in the Journal of Fungi. The fungus can cause a lethal invasive disease and is ringing alarm bells because of the speed with which it develops drug resistance.
Nationwide survey shows that several COVID-19 epidemics are under way in Brazil (June 09, 2021)
Supported by FAPESP and led by a researcher at the Federal University of São Paulo, EPICOVID-19 BR 2 tested 120,000 people in 133 cities between January 25 and April 24, 2021. Amazonas was the state with the highest seroprevalence, with positive test results accounting for 31.4%. The nationwide average was 15%.
Second-wave SARS-CoV-2 reinfection rate in Manaus may have reached 31%, study suggests (June 09, 2021)
An Anglo-Brazilian research center analyzed samples from blood donors tested for antibodies against the novel coronavirus.
Direct action of SARS-CoV-2 on several organs may cause exacerbated immune response in children (June 02, 2021)
The largest series of autopsies ever performed on children who died from COVID-19 showed that the ability of the novel coronavirus to invade and damage the tissue of all major organs is one of the factors leading to multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C).
A study conducted in Brazil evaluated the filtration efficacy of 227 commercially available face masks (June 02, 2021)
Models for professional use were the most effective at retaining aerosol particles of a size equivalent to the novel coronavirus, followed by TNT masks sold in drugstores. The efficacy of fabric masks ranged from 15% to 70%. A tight fit and lack of seams enhanced protection.
Alzheimer’s disease increases the risk of severe COVID-19 and death from this viral disease (June 02, 2021)
Patients with dementia and especially Alzheimer’s run a threefold risk of dying as a result of infection by SARS-CoV-2. The risk is six times greater if they are over 80, according to a study by Brazilian researchers.
Cell-mediated immunity is essential to prevent reinfection by the novel coronavirus, study suggests (May 26, 2021)
Juliana (left) and her identical twin Luana, who was reinfected by SARS-CoV-2 four months after recovering from COVID-19. A study of their case by researchers at the University of São Paulo showed that Juliana’s cell-mediated immunity was more developed and protected her against reinfection.
FAPESP and 15 other funders launch joint call for research proposals in social sciences and humanities (May 26, 2021)
The call aims to advance knowledge of the societal effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and solutions to mitigate them. The submission deadline is July 12. Eligibility checking ends June 14.
People who have had dengue are twice as likely to develop symptomatic COVID-19 (May 19, 2021)
This is the main finding of a study published in Clinical Infectious Diseases. The authors analyzed blood samples collected in a town in the Brazilian Amazon before and after the first wave of the pandemic to detect the presence of antibodies against dengue virus and SARS-CoV-2.
Study maps immune system genes involved in resistance to SARS-CoV-2 (May 12, 2021)
A study by scientists at a FAPESP-supported research center analyzed genetic material from 86 couples in which only one spouse was infected. The results suggest that more frequent variants in the resistant spouses could lead to more efficient activation of natural killer (NK) cells, which are part of the innate immune system, the first barrier against infection.
Researchers describe possible immune escape mechanism for South African variant of novel coronavirus (May 05, 2021)
A mutation in the variant’s spike protein is associated with glycosylation, which prevents antibodies from binding strongly to the virus. If the discovery is confirmed by further research, it could serve as a basis for future vaccines that are more effective against novel variants.
Muscle strength and mass help predict length of stay in hospital for COVID-19 patients, study suggests (May 05, 2021)
According to researchers affiliated with the University of São Paulo, these indicators can orient preventive care for the most vulnerable and rehabilitation for survivors who suffer from long-term complications.
Atlas of human lung helps understand effects of novel coronavirus on alveoli (May 05, 2021)
Researchers at the University of Campinas in Brazil reveal the mechanisms whereby SARS-CoV-2 disrupts the regulation of inflammation, coagulation and blood pressure when it infects alveolar cells, responsible for gas exchange in the lungs.
Analysis of saliva is efficacious to detect COVID-19 in children with symptoms (April 28, 2021)
Sample collection is much easier and less invasive. Self-collecting is feasible, depending on the child’s age. Schools should reopen only with mass testing to keep track of asymptomatic cases, the researchers argue.
Air pollution and mobility indicators are shown to be predictors of the rise in COVID-19 cases and deaths (April 28, 2021)
A multinational research group used data from São Paulo to perform calculations which suggest that even a minor reduction in the city’s mobility – equivalent to a rise from 45% to 50% in the social distancing index – correlates with a considerable fall in new infections and deaths after a few days.
FAPESP will select projects that contribute to public policies for recovery from COVID-19 (April 21, 2021)
A total of BRL 18.5 million will be allocated to funding for collaborative projects by researchers in the state of São Paulo with colleagues in other countries. Proposals must be submitted not later than July 10.
Researchers at the University of São Paulo find coronavirus in gum tissue of COVID-19 patients (April 21, 2021)
Infection of periodontal tissue, not just airways, explains the high viral load found in the saliva of COVID-19 patients, this study suggests.
Technology reduces need for extracorporeal ventilation in patients with acute respiratory failure by 80% (April 21, 2021)
An electrical impedance tomography system developed by a Brazilian company enabled critical care staff at a hospital run by Harvard University to adopt individualized mechanical ventilation strategies and reduced the need for extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) therapy.
Brazilian company develops low-cost mechanical ventilators (April 21, 2021)
Machines designed and prototyped by Setup Automação with PIPE-FAPESP’s support could come to market costing 25% less than currently available devices.
High dose of vitamin D fails to improve condition of moderate to severe COVID-19 patients (April 21, 2021)
A clinical trial was conducted by researchers at the University of São Paulo with 240 patients who were given 200,000 IU of vitamin D3 on admission to hospital. The supplementation did not reduce length of stay or affect the proportion requiring intensive care.
The incidence of COVID-19 in a Brazilian regional soccer league is one of the world’s highest (April 14, 2021)
Researchers analyzed almost 30,000 RT-PCR tests on swabs from 4,269 players in 2020: 11.7% turned out positive. The rate was the same as among front-line health workers.
SARS-CoV-2 inhibits removal of dead cells by the immune system, favoring lung damage (April 07, 2021)
A study by the University of São Paulo has discovered that when macrophages engulf cells infected by the novel coronavirus, they begin producing excessive amounts of pro-inflammatory molecules, and their capacity to recognize and phagocytize dead cells is reduced twelvefold.
Novel coronavirus can remain active for more than 14 days in patients with mild symptoms (April 07, 2021)
Brazilian researchers monitoring the population of metropolitan São Paulo have reported atypical cases in which SARS-CoV-2 continues to replicate in the organism for longer than the recommended isolation period.
Online tool facilitates monitoring of COVID-19 epidemic in Brazil (April 07, 2021)
The platform developed by researchers from Brazil and Chile lets users view geolocation of cases, deaths and vaccinations over time.
High-fiber diet may play a role in controlling the inflammation associated with COVID-19 (March 31, 2021)
Brazilian researchers treated cells infected by SARS-CoV-2 with compounds produced by gut microbiota from dietary fiber. The intervention did not mitigate viral replication but reduced expression of a gene that plays a key role in viral entry into cells and a receptor involved in the inflammatory process.
Specialists advocate universal access to the internet and remote learning technologies as public goods (March 31, 2021)
In an online seminar hosted by FAPESP, researchers from Brazil, the United States and France analyzed the impact of the pandemic on educational inequality.
São Paulo-based firm creates “artificial lung” to treat COVID-19 (March 31, 2021)
Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) can keep patients alive until the disease recedes.
Slow pace of vaccination could jeopardize capacity to reduce number of COVID-19 deaths (March 24, 2021)
This is the conclusion reached by two modeling studies posted recently by Brazilian scientists to the preprint platform medRxiv.
Preliminary study suggests CoronaVac neutralizes novel variants of SARS-CoV-2 (March 24, 2021)
Laboratory trial by Butantan Institute in partnership with the University of São Paulo involved inoculation of variants P.1 and P.2 into cultured cells containing blood serum from vaccinated subjects. The results were satisfactory, according to the researchers.
Brazilian startup develops remotely operated room sterilization device (March 24, 2021)
The technology uses ultraviolet-C, which can inactivate the novel coronavirus. Startup BioLambda was supported by FAPESP and partnered with the Albert Einstein Jewish-Brazilian Hospital in São Paulo.
Study could help develop biosensors for non-invasive diagnosis of diseases (March 24, 2021)
Brazilian researchers tested the capacity of different materials to produce sensors for the detection of PCA3, a gene that is overexpressed in prostate cancer. The technique can also be used to diagnose infectious diseases, including COVID-19.
Study suggests the Brazilian variant emerged in November, is more transmissible and can cause reinfection (March 17, 2021)
Published by an Anglo-Brazilian epidemiological research center, the study revealed that in only seven weeks SARS-CoV-2 lineage P.1 became the most prevalent strain of the virus in Manaus. Analysis of more than 900 samples from patients diagnosed in the period pointed to a higher viral load
Antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 induced by prior infection are six times less effective against P.1 variant (March 17, 2021)
Blood plasma from COVID-19 convalescents was tested against Brazilian variant isolates obtained from patients diagnosed in Manaus. The study also assessed the effectiveness of plasma from volunteers immunized with CoronaVac.
Amazon strain of coronavirus already predominates in cases of COVID-19 in a city 2,500 km from Manaus (March 17, 2021)
In Araraquara, state of São Paulo, researchers detected the P.1 variant in 93% of samples from patients diagnosed at a primary healthcare facility in the first two months of the year.
COVID-19 Data Sharing/BR makes more datasets available (March 10, 2021)
Open-access repository established to facilitate research on the disease holds anonymized data including clinical examinations and laboratory test results from 485,000 patients processed by five institutions.
Study suggests shortening quarantine for people infected by novel coronavirus to ten days would be risky (March 03, 2021)
In October the CDC recommended ten instead of 14 days of isolation for patients with mild or moderate symptoms, but Brazilian researchers found viable viral particles in 25% of samples collected from patients on the tenth day of symptoms.
COVID-19 evidences the need for advances in scientific data management, specialists insist (March 03, 2021)
There is no universally adopted system or standard for collecting, documenting and sharing the massive amount of data from research on the disease, noted an expert who took part in the Second Latin American and Caribbean Scientific Data Management Workshop.
Markers of COVID-19 severity and therapeutic targets possibly unveiled in patients’ blood plasma (February 17, 2021)
An analysis conducted in the Brazilian state of São Paulo detected seven proteins in plasma from hospitalized patients that could be used in novel treatments and methods of identifying potentially severe or critical cases.
COVID-19 vaccines are not comparable in terms of efficacy, according to specialists (February 17, 2021)
The different criteria used in Phase 3 clinical trials of the vaccines approved so far were explained by scientists in a webinar hosted by FAPESP. The impact of delays in vaccinating Brazilians was one of the topics discussed.
Structure of novel coronavirus inspires design of nanoparticles for drug delivery (February 17, 2021)
According to a paper by Brazilian researchers published in Nano Today, the spatial arrangement of proteins on the surface of SARS-CoV-2 assures highly efficient interaction with target receptors on human cells.
COVID-19 can alter the brain’s functional connectivity pattern, study shows (February 10, 2021)
Brazilian researchers used functional magnetic resonance imaging to assess 86 volunteers who had moderate COVID-19 and compared the results with those of uninfected volunteers. Preliminary findings have not yet been published but were presented during a conference held at the University of Campinas.
Exercising regularly does not affect severe COVID-19 prognosis or outcomes (February 10, 2021)
Study involving more than 200 hospitalized patients in São Paulo shows physically active individuals are not fully protected against the disease.
Study confirms safety of COVID-19 convalescent plasma therapy (February 10, 2021)
Clinical trial conducted in Brazil suggests the treatment can be beneficial if administered within ten days of symptom onset.
New molecules associated with hyperinflammation in COVID-19 are identified (February 3, 2021)
A study by researchers at the University of São Paulo showed that the blood serum of severe patients contained high levels of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine and lipid mediators derived from arachidonic acid. The discovery may help improve the prognosis of such patients and the treatment available to them.
Lung ultrasound helps predict COVID-19 patient outcomes (February 3, 2021)
Brazilian researchers applied an examination protocol based on an analysis of 12 lung regions to 180 severe patients and found that the higher the lung ultrasound score the greater the risk of ICU admission, intubation and death.
Researchers develop 10-minute COVID-19 diagnostic test that wage workers can afford (February 3, 2021)
Technology based on nanoparticles identifies IgG antibodies and costs only about a fifth of similar devices now on the market. It was developed by scientists at the University of São Paulo and Brazilian startup Biolinker.
Studies use mathematics to analyze the semantics of dream reports during the pandemic (February 3, 2021)
Researchers at a center for neuromathematics say dreams reflect the fear and anxiety fueled by the disease.
Social distancing has changed Brazilian women’s eating habits, study shows (February 3, 2021)
More than 1,000 volunteers completed an online questionnaire designed by Brazilian researchers. The results show that more women are cooking, sitting down to eat, snacking between meals, and ordering takeaway meals, while dieting and supermarket shopping have declined.
Melatonin produced in the lungs prevents infection by novel coronavirus (January 27, 2021)
The hormone acts as a barrier against SARS-CoV-2, blocking the expression of genes that encode proteins in cells serving as viral entry points, according to a study by researchers at the University of São Paulo.
US will take at least 300 days to beat COVID-19 even with vaccination, scientists estimate (January 27, 2021)
Researchers at York University in Canada and the University of Campinas in Brazil used mathematical modeling to estimate the short-term impact of vaccination. Abandoning non-pharmaceutical interventions too soon could cancel out the benefit, they warn.
Startup develops yeast-based COVID-19 diagnostic test (January 27, 2021)
Based on a reaction between yeast and the novel coronavirus, the test will rapidly detect the presence of SARS-CoV-2 in saliva and will be available by mid-2021.
Second wave of COVID-19 in Manaus rekindles debate on herd immunity (January 20, 2021)
Experts tell Agência FAPESP about factors that may be associated with the rapid rise in daily case numbers in the capital of Amazonas State, where a six-month state of emergency has been declared.
Lack of physical exercise during COVID-19 confinement may lead to a rise in mortality, study shows (January 20, 2021)
In a review article published in Frontiers of Endocrinology, Brazilian researchers estimate a reduction of 35% in levels of physical activity and a rise of 28% in sedentary behavior in the initial months of confinement imposed by the pandemic.
Study identifies a factor that makes the novel coronavirus variant B.1.1.7 more contagious (January 20, 2021)
Researchers at the University of São Paulo found that the SARS-CoV-2 variant’s spike protein interacted more strongly with the ACE2 receptor used by the virus to invade and replicate in human cells.
Researchers analyze the growth of anti-vaccine movements during the pandemic (January 20, 2021)
Pro-Vaccine Union, an initiative of the University of São Paulo in partnership with other organizations including Research, Innovation and Dissemination Centers funded by FAPESP, is monitoring anti-vaccine groups on Facebook in an effort to understand the workings of the social media ecosystem that spreads disinformation.
Women’s immune system responds better to COVID-19, study shows (January 13, 2021)
When researchers reanalyzed datasets from more than 1,000 patients, they found differences between men and women in the expression of genes associated with the functioning of immune cells and the production of inflammatory molecules. The findings point to possible targets for treatment of both sexes.
Global Research Council discusses the role of funding agencies in the pandemic (January 06, 2021)
Fast-track project selection and the capacity to make efficient use of resources and cross-border partnerships have made funders fundamental to the response to the challenges of COVID-19 in the Americas, according to participants in the GRC’s regional meeting.
Experts explain challenges of COVID-19 vaccine supply chain logistics and management (December 23, 2020)
The raw materials and inputs for vaccines are produced in different countries and subject to undersupply risk, said speakers in a webinar on Facing the Challenges of Vaccine Distribution organized by FAPESP.
Hospitalization for treatment of COVID-19 is 34% lower among physically active people, study shows (December 16, 2020)
The online survey was conducted in Brazil and completed by 938 survivors of the disease whose diagnosis was confirmed by RT-PCR or serological test. Those who regularly had at least 150 minutes per week of moderately intense aerobic exercise or 75 minutes of high-intensity training were considered sufficiently active, in accordance with the WHO’s recommendations.
Study can facilitate screening of COVID-19 convalescent plasma donors (December 09, 2020)
Brazilian researchers show that commercial serological tests available in laboratories nationwide can be used to screen donated plasma in order to see if it contains enough antibodies capable of neutralizing the novel coronavirus.
The impact of the pandemic on the Brazilian labor market (December 09, 2020)
Black people and women are worst-off – blacks because they mainly work in the informal sector and women because they are mainly considered non-essential workers.
Study sheds light on immune mechanism that triggers cytokine storm typical of COVID-19 (December 02, 2020)
In defense cells from patients hospitalized with the disease, Brazilian researchers found signs of activation of a protein complex called the inflammasome, responsible for initiating the inflammatory response that can damage organs and lead to death. The findings could help identify drugs capable of interrupting the process.
UN mobilizes researchers to pursue solutions to the socio-economic crisis triggered by COVID-19 (December 02, 2020)
Roadmap proposes 25 research priorities in strategic areas to build a more equitable, resilient and sustainable future.
Agência FAPESP produces video series on epidemiological study of COVID-19 in Brazilian Amazon (December 02, 2020)
The special series “Field Diary” (“Diário de Campo”) features University of São Paulo scientists Marcelo Urbano Ferreira and Marly Augusto Cardoso on an expedition to Mâncio Lima, a small town in the Amazon where they collect samples from patients to investigate transmission of the novel coronavirus.
Study could give rise to test able to predict whether COVID-19 patients will need to be hospitalized (November 25, 2020)
Researchers at the University of São Paulo identified proteins found at augmented levels in the blood plasma of high-risk patients using equipment present in Brazilian hospitals. The result of the test could help physicians make better-targeted decisions.
“In coping with COVID-19, human behavior can be part of the problem and part of the solution” (November 25, 2020)
In an online seminar organized by FAPESP, social scientists and behavior analysts discussed the psychological, political and cultural factors that influence the way different countries and groups respond to the pandemic.
Study investigates whether adipose tissue is the source of inflammatory factors that aggravate COVID-19 (November 18, 2020)
Preliminary results of patient tissue analysis show that the virus infects adipocytes and alters the quantity of signaling molecules released by these cells into the bloodstream.
Plastic film used to protect foods and surfaces inactivates novel coronavirus (November 18, 2020)
In laboratory tests, the material eliminated 79.9% of SARS-CoV-2 particles in three minutes and 99.99% in up to 15 minutes.
Two anti-inflammatory compounds shown to be capable of accelerating recovery from COVID-19 (November 12, 2020)
Monoclonal antibody tested by researchers at University of São Paulo and experimental drug given to patients in Italy by University of Pennsylvania research group promoted rapid improvement of respiratory function in patients hospitalized in severe condition.
Production of biofuels for transportation will fall for first time in two decades (November 12, 2020)
Incentives to drive a rapid recovery by the sector, one of the hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, will contribute to a resumption of world economic growth, save or create millions of jobs, and contain global emissions of carbon dioxide, experts say.
Protein present in blood of COVID-19 patients can indicate progress and severity of the disease (November 04, 2020)
Brazilian researchers discovered that sTREM-1 protein in immunoglobulin family could be a very useful biomarker to help medical teams make clinical decisions.
Brazilian synchrotron light source helps scientists look for COVID-19 drugs in first experiment (November 04, 2020)
Sirius’s protein crystallography beamline analyzed more than 200 protein crystals from the novel coronavirus as they were exposed to tiny fragments of widely used drugs. If a compound fits perfectly into a target protein, its action can be blocked in the virus.
Ultraviolet light to inactivate novel coronavirus (November 04, 2020)
Devices developed by Brazilian startup BioLambda decontaminate face shields, surfaces, workspaces and air.
SARS-CoV-2 uses similar strategy to HIV to infect defense cells (October 28, 2020)
Experiments conducted by Brazilian researchers with lymphocytes isolated from COVID-19 patients showed the virus using the protein CD4 to invade cells that play a key role in coordinating the immune response.
Gastroesophageal reflux may increase risk of dying from COVID-19, study suggests (October 28, 2020)
Analyses by Brazilian researchers suggest alterations to pH caused by stomach acid lead to increase in expression of ACE2 and make cells more susceptible to infection by novel coronavirus.
Values-Based behavior under COVID-19 is the theme of a webinar promoted by FAPESP (October 28, 2020)
Renowned scientists will address topics related to how society has been coping with this threatening environment and will discuss factors that influence behavioral change.
Study proves that novel coronavirus harms brain and details its effects on nerve cells (October 21, 2020)
Led by research groups from the universities of Campinas and São Paulo, the investigation combined MRI scans of mild COVID-19 patients, analysis of brain tissue samples from patients who died from COVID-19, and experiments performed with human nerve cells infected in the laboratory.
Study suggests SARS-CoV-2 can infect and kill lymphocytes (October 21, 2020)
Brazilian researchers found the novel coronavirus replicating inside immune cells from patients hospitalized with COVID-19. Experiments on lymphocytes infected in the laboratory showed that viral entry induced programmed cell death.
Obesity implies high risk of severe COVID-19 regardless of age, sex, ethnicity and pre-existing diseases (October 14, 2020)
Conclusion presented by Brazilian researchers in Obesity Research & Clinical Practice is based on analysis of nine clinical studies involving 6,577 patients infected by SARS-CoV-2 in five countries.
Immunity induced by other coronaviruses may not protect older people against COVID-19 (October 14, 2020)
Study led by researchers at Oxford University suggests that after successive infections by the coronaviruses that cause common colds throughout life the defense system becomes specialized and cannot recognize emergent varieties such as SARS-CoV-2.
Plastic film protects surfaces against novel coronavirus on contact (October 14, 2020)
Laboratory tests showed film containing silver-silica nanoparticles to be capable of eliminating 99.84% of SARS-CoV-2 after exposure for two minutes.
Risk of death from COVID-19 in São Paulo is 50% higher in low-income areas (October 14, 2020)
Study correlated confirmed and suspected COVID-19 deaths in the city of São Paulo between March and June with socio-economic data on area in which deceased patients lived, showing that such deaths peaked in mid-May.
With SARS-CoV-2 prevalence of 66%, Amazonia’s largest city may have reached herd immunity (October 07, 2020)
A cross-border group led by researchers at the University of São Paulo presented findings for Manaus from a study based on mathematical modeling combined with serological analysis. The results showed seroprevalence at 22% in the city of São Paulo.
Community health workers could play a key part in combating the pandemic in Brazil, researcher says (October 07, 2020)
An article in The Lancet stresses the vulnerability of these health workers, whose readiness to counter fake news with trustworthy information, and to monitor COVID-19 patients in home isolation, has been neglected.
Study describes COVID-19 transmission pattern (October 07, 2020)
Model developed by Brazilian researchers predicts spatial and temporal evolution of epidemic diseases and can help plan more effective social isolation programs with less socio-economic impact.
Research in social sciences and humanities is key to combating COVID-19 pandemic, funders insist (October 07, 2020)
Collaborative projects in these knowledge areas can produce information that helps policymakers understand the behavioral changes required to manage the ongoing public health crisis and mitigate its impacts, according to participants in the annual meeting of the Trans-Atlantic Platform, held online in September.
An inexpensive technique to display 3D images of novel coronavirus in cells (September 30, 2020)
Protocol developed by Brazilian researchers shows SARS-CoV-2 replicating near cell nucleus. Methodology helps scientists understand coronavirus’s action mechanism and could also be used to study other viruses.
Nationwide epidemiological survey points to decelerating transmission of COVID-19 in most of Brazil (September 30, 2020)
In the fourth phase of EPICOVID-19 BR, the proportion of the population with antibodies against the novel coronavirus fell from 3.8% in June to 1.4% in August in 133 cities. According to the authors, the methodology accurately estimates contagion rates in the previous 45 days.
Study shows influence of biological sex and age on clinical profile of COVID-19 in Brazil (September 23, 2020)
Researchers affiliated with institutions in Brazil and elsewhere analyzed blood work from almost 179,000 people who were tested for the novel coronavirus. They obtained the data from COVID-19 Data Sharing/BR, an open-access repository established by FAPESP.
Brazilian researchers develop saliva-based COVID-19 diagnostic tests (September 16, 2020)
Designed by the Human Genome and Stem Cell Research Center, the novel test may cost a quarter of those based on RT-PCR, considered the gold standard for diagnosis of the disease.
System monitors presence of novel coronavirus in air (September 16, 2020)
Integrated with the air quality management tool created by startup Omni-electronica, a collector captures viruses suspended in the environment and submits the air samples to RT-PCR testing. Monitoring of crowded locations combined with indicators created by the firm can contribute to a safer economic reopening.
International study will compare different countries’ responses to COVID-19 (September 16, 2020)
Project led by researchers from Brazilian and American institutions will collect primary data during the pandemic to create a repository that will serve as a basis for future studies. The findings of the comparative analysis will be published in book form.
Emergency income support has changed the way Brazilian society sees the welfare safety net (September 16, 2020)
Economists who took part in a webinar organized by FAPESP to discuss options for the post-pandemic economic recovery said this is the right time to implement broad basic income policies.
Exercise hormone may modulate genes associated with replication of novel coronavirus, study suggests (September 09, 2020)
Brazilian researchers observed that in uninfected adipocytes, the hormone irisin altered the expression of genes that regulate ACE-2, which encodes a protein to which the virus binds in order to invade human cells.
Incentives for the production of bioenergy must continue as part of post-pandemic recovery (September 09, 2020)
Governments should assure continuity of policies that promote bioenergy, biofuels and bioproducts, say the speakers in a webinar held by the Brazilian Bioenergy Science and Technology Conference, which is supported by BIOEN-FAPESP.
Technique uses artificial intelligence to diagnose COVID-19 and predict risk of complications (September 02, 2020)
The automated system developed by Brazilian researchers is based on an analysis of patterns of molecules in patient blood plasma.
Researchers prepare to screen genes associated with the replication of novel coronavirus (September 02, 2020)
A study conducted at the FAPESP-funded Center for Research on Inflammatory Diseases (CRID) will identify key processes triggered by SARS-CoV-2 in human cells.
Action of 50 synthetic compounds will be tested against novel coronavirus (September 02, 2020)
In a project supported by FAPESP, researchers at São Paulo State University (UNESP) will assess the potential of peptides and other bioactive molecules to inhibit the infection of cultured cells.
The importance of open data and data sharing in fighting COVID-19 (September 02, 2020)
In an online seminar held by FAPESP, researchers from France, the US and Brazil discussed how data repositories can be made secure and easily accessible to accelerate the development of responses to the pandemic.
Brazilian technology is used in several countries to treat COVID-19 patients (September 02, 2020)
An electrical impedance tomography system was developed by a São Paulo-based startup to monitor the lungs of patients on mechanical ventilation uninterruptedly and noninvasively.
Colchicine, an anti-inflammatory drug, accelerates recovery of hospitalized COVID-19 patients (August 26, 2020)
Benefits were observed in a clinical trial involving 38 volunteers treated at the teaching hospital of the University of São Paulo’s Ribeirão Preto Medical School. The drug is cheap and can shorten ICU stays but should not be used outside hospitals, the researchers warn.
COVID-19 numbers for Amazonas reinforce the theory that herd immunity may be reached sooner than expected (August 26, 2020)
Specialists discussed the situation in a webinar held by Agência FAPESP and Canal Butantan. However, they stressed that achieving herd immunity should not be public policy, as clearly shown by the tragic death toll suffered in Manaus, the state capital of Amazonas.
Researchers investigate genetic factors behind resistance or susceptibility to COVID-19 (August 26, 2020)
A study is being conducted by a research center supported by FAPESP to determine whether people who develop severe forms of the disease have risk genes and whether asymptomatic people or patients with only mild symptoms have protective genes.
Study will monitor the impact of the pandemic and social isolation on the mental health of 4,000 people (August 26, 2020)
Participants are members of the São Paulo arm of a study conducted in six Brazilian states beginning in 2008. The goal is to compare mental health before the pandemic to that during the pandemic in both healthy individuals and subjects suffering from anxiety and depression.
Researchers record real-time live images of blood clotting in COVID-19 patients (August 19, 2020)
A study involving 13 patients requiring intubation for mechanical ventilation reinforces the theory that coagulation disorders resulting from an exacerbated inflammatory response to SARS-CoV-2 may explain some of the most severe symptoms of the disease.
FAPESP joins UN global committee to support postpandemic recovery (August 19, 2020)
Scientific Director Luiz Eugênio Mello is taking part in a group charged with providing scientific support to the United Nations Research Roadmap for the COVID-19 Recovery.
COVID-19: A need to go out to work explains why some areas have more cases than others (August 19, 2020)
A study of São Paulo city shows that neighborhoods with more hospitalizations and deaths from coronavirus coincide with areas whose inhabitants have been unable to shelter at home.
Startup helps cut the cost of molecular testing to diagnose COVID-19 (August 19, 2020)
Through a project supported by FAPESP, the São Paulo-based firm is developing an RT-qPCR diagnostic kit in which all reactions take place in a single tube.
Herd immunity to novel coronavirus can be reached when up 20% are infected, study suggests (August 12, 2020)
Herd immunity to novel coronavirus can be reached when up 20% are infected, study suggests Researchers from Portugal, the UK and Brazil produced the estimate using a mathematical model that takes into account variations in the risk of catching the disease within different population groups. Despite being good news, the finding does not diminish the importance of non-pharmaceutical interventions to contain transmission, the authors stress.
University of São Paulo-bred mechanical ventilator already in use at the institution’s general hospital (August 12, 2020)
Ten units of the device developed at the university’s Engineering School (POLI-USP) began operating at Hospital das Clínicas in July.
Novel coronavirus also causes death from heart failure (August 05, 2020)
Autopsies performed on COVID-19 patients treated at the largest hospital complex in Latin America show that some died mainly as a result of cardiovascular alterations.
COVID-19 had already spread in Brazil when measures to contain it were implemented (August 05, 2020)
Study determined how the disease was transmitted using genomic data for SARS-CoV-2 obtained by sequencing almost 500 viral isolates from Brazilian patients and cross-referencing this with air travel data and deaths from the disease in the period.
Photodynamic therapy can combat secondary infections in COVID-19 patients (August 05, 2020)
Researchers at the Optics and Photonics Research Center, supported by FAPESP, advocate the technique as an additional treatment for patients with the disease.
Specialists discuss contact tracing as a tool to plan action against COVID-19 (August 05, 2020)
Researchers from Brazil, Mexico, Nigeria and the US took part in a webinar organized by FAPESP to discuss privacy and data security and how people’s behavior shapes the pandemic.
Machine learning makes drug repurposing for psychiatric disorders more effective (August 05, 2020)
Researchers have correlated information on drugs, genes and diseases to identify potential candidates for psychiatric and neurological treatment. The methodology they developed will be used to search for drugs against COVID-19
Experts indicate avenues to combat pandemic in second-half 2020 (July 29, 2020)
The contagion curve in Brazil appears to have plateaued and is set to remain at the current level until at least the end of 2020. Investing in the identification and isolation of infected people and their close contacts, keeping schools closed and improving the quality of the information offered to the public are measures governments should take to make sure the situation does not become even worse.
Adipose tissue may be a reservoir for SARS-CoV-2, Brazilian researchers suggest (July 29, 2020)
A study showed that the novel coronavirus can infect human adipocytes and that the viral load is three times higher in aged adipose cells. The results may help us understand why people with obesity and those who are older are more at risk of developing the severe form of COVID-19.
Over 50% of adults in the state of São Paulo have experienced anxiety frequently since the pandemic began (July 29, 2020)
Online survey with 11,863 respondents also shows that feeling sad or depressed became routine for 39%, while overall health worsened for 26%.
Deep-seated changes triggered by pandemic could speed up adoption of bioenergy (July 29, 2020)
Novel forms of societal behavior and political priorities during the coronavirus crisis may become permanent, creating even more favorable conditions for increased use of renewables, as discussed in a webinar hosted by the FAPESP Bioenergy Research Program.
Social isolation and face covering reduced SARS-CoV-2 spread by 15% in Brazil’s 1st epicenter of COVID-19 (July 22, 2020)
The reduction resulting from implementation of these measures in São Paulo has been calculated for the period between mid-March and early May using a mathematical model developed by a FAPESP-funded research center. The scientists also estimated that these two public health measures reduced the peak of transmission by 25% in Brasília.
Experimental drug reduces replication of zika and prevents microcephaly in mice (July 22, 2020)
The compound inhibited the action of a protein activated by the virus to suppress the host’s immune response. The therapy also proved effective against dengue virus and will be tested at the University of São Paulo against coronavirus.
Study identifies the factors that contributed to the initial spread of COVID-19 (July 22, 2020)
Researchers used statistical techniques to analyze data of 126 countries. The variables that intensified contagion at the start of the outbreak included low temperature, a large proportion of older people, foreign tourist arrivals, and greeting habits involving physical contact.
Dreams can reveal how people are adapting to the “new normal” (July 22, 2020)
Brazilian researchers showed that the degree of suffering caused by the pandemic and social isolation can be measured by interpreting dream narratives with the aid of speech analysis tools.
Game application monitors health of older people in social isolation owing to COVID-19 pandemic (July 22, 2020)
Program developed by startup with FAPESP’s support was initially designed to train cognitive skills and help improve physical fitness but will now have extended functionality.
Combining different vaccines could extend protection against COVID-19, scientists believe (July 15, 2020)
Testing has begun in Brazilian volunteers of two candidate vaccines at an advanced stage of development. In an online seminar co-organized by Agência FAPESP, researchers involved in Phase 3 clinical trials said the more vaccines are approved, the better mankind’s chances of controlling COVID-19.
Brazilian COVID-19 patient data repository becomes fully operational (July 15, 2020)
Platform created by FAPESP in partnership with University of São Paulo, Albert Einstein Jewish Hospital, Hospital Sírio-Libanês and Fleury Group begins providing access to data for more than 177,000 patients, 5 million clinical examinations and 9,600 outcomes.
Researchers have developed a system to detect respiratory failure by analyzing voice samples (July 15, 2020)
Project supported by FAPESP aims to help triage suspected COVID-19 patients.
Researchers discover hybrid fungus involved in lung infections (July 15, 2020)
This is the first time Aspergillus latus has been found in a hospital. The species is more drug-resistant than its two parents and highly dangerous for patients with respiratory diseases and compromised immune systems. The researchers will now investigate the role of fungi in COVID-19.
Study identifies proteins that may favor infection of placenta by novel coronavirus (July 8, 2020)
Based on placental cell gene expression data and computer simulations, Brazilian researchers concluded that the virus may use the placental proteins DPP4 and CTSL as an alternative point of entry into human cells.
São Paulo-based company develops fabric that eliminates novel coronavirus by contact (July 8, 2020)
In laboratory tests, the material inactivated 99.9% of SARS-CoV-2 in two minutes. The technology developed by the startup, which is supported by FAPESP, will be used to produce face masks and hospital apparel.
Brazilian researchers will test more than 500 substances against novel coronavirus (July 8, 2020)
Assembled over a five-year period by the University of São Paulo’s Medicinal Chemistry Group, the material will be tested for treating infected cells. The goal of the research is to find a compound that inhibits the key enzyme in the replication of SARS-CoV-2 without affecting human cells.
Urban transmission of COVID-19 reproduces territorial inequities (July 8, 2020)
The study will analyze how the disease affects different communities in Brazil and the US based on social and demographic characteristics related to drivers of environmental vulnerability.
System forecasts hospital demand for personal protective equipment (July 8, 2020)
The open-access tool was developed in Brazil by researchers at the Center for Mathematical Sciences Applied to Industry to minimize the risk of shortages and overspending.
Discovery of immune mechanism involved in COVID-19 paves way for novel therapy (July 1, 2020)
Study conducted by the FAPESP-funded Center for Research on Inflammatory Diseases (CRID) shows that drug currently used to treat cystic fibrosis can help prevent complications from infection by SARS-CoV-2.
FAPESP creates repository of clinical information to facilitate research on COVID-19 (July 1, 2020)
The platform contains data on 75,000 patients, 6,500 sets of outcome data, and 1.6 million clinical examinations and laboratory tests. The University of São Paulo, Fleury Group, Hospital Sírio-Libanês and Albert Einstein Jewish Hospital are participating.
Researchers seek antiviral molecules for the treatment of COVID-19 (July 1, 2020)
Synthetic compounds and molecules derived from natural products belonging to Brazil’s biodiversity are being screened by teams at the Center for Innovation in Biodiversity and Drug Discovery, which is supported by FAPESP.
Brazilian startup seeks to develop a wholly indigenous COVID-19 diagnostic test (July 1, 2020)
The project is supported by FAPESP’s Innovative Research in Small Business Program. The firm plans to produce ELISA kits that will detect antibodies against the novel coronavirus in blood serum.
Scientists create an online platform to offer Brazilian health workers guidance on the use of PPE (July 1, 2020)
The website developed by researchers at the University of São Paulo includes videos, illustrations, texts and posters with information on the right way to put on and take off masks, gloves, gowns and other items.
Drug developed to treat cancer accelerates recovery of severe COVID-19 patients (June 24, 2020)
Researchers at the University of Campinas tested the Brazilian immunotherapy drug OncoTherad on five patients who contracted the disease while being treated for bladder cancer. The drug attenuated the inflammation in their lungs and shortened their hospital stay.
‘Stay at home but don’t stay still,’ researchers recommend (June 24, 2020)
In a review article published in the American Journal of Physiology, Brazilian researchers present scientific evidence on the impact of short periods of inactivity on the cardiovascular system and recommend exercise to stay fit at home during the pandemic.
Computational tools can select novel coronavirus antigens to create therapeutic vaccines (June 24, 2020)
A formulation could be used in patients at risk of respiratory failure to prevent their condition from deteriorating. This methodology has been used to treat HIV/AIDS by an international group of scientists led by Brazilian researchers.
Researchers will study body fat immune cells to understand obesity-associated inflammation (June 24, 2020)
Brazilian researchers are the only Latin American group to have had a project selected in an international request for applications by the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. Funding of more USD 175,000 has been awarded to the study, which will be the first in Brazil to use single-cell analysis.
Brazilian firm refines mechanical ventilation technology (June 24, 2020)
Through a project supported by FAPESP, the São Paulo-based firm Setup is developing two portable ventilators. More robust and easier to operate than standard devices, they are designed for use in ICUs and field hospitals.
Researchers advocate green economy to surmount crisis caused by COVID-19 (June 24, 2020)
This was the main scientific position to emerge from the online seminar “Biodiversity, climate crisis, economies and pandemics” organized with FAPESP’s support via its program focused on biodiversity.
Animal testing of potential Brazilian vaccine for COVID-19 begins (June 17, 2020)
Pre-clinical trial will identify the formulation and concentration capable of inducing a rapid and lasting immune response, before further development and testing.
Brazilian scientists develop COVID-19 accelerometer (June 17, 2020)
Online application shows in real time whether the disease is spreading faster or slower in over 200 countries and helps evaluate the effectiveness of public policies aimed at containing the pandemic.
Potential transmissibility of COVID-19 in Brazil’s hinterland as high as in state capitals, shows study (June 17, 2020)
Hub cities far from state capitals can accelerate interiorization of the disease, according to a collaboration involving universities and the national disaster surveillance center.
Social inequality makes combating COVID-19 even harder (June 17, 2020)
Study shows that São Paulo City has eight distinct urban groups in economic, social and cultural terms, making effective action against the pandemic a challenge.
Military technologies to be adapted for fever detection in crowded places to combat COVID-19 (June 17, 2020)
Company supported by FAPESP is developing a smart visible and thermal spectrum imaging system to spot people with fever in schools, malls or offices.
Gene editing tool can help block infection by novel coronavirus (June 10, 2020)
Brazilian researchers are developing a strategy to induce mutations in the gene that encodes ACE-2, the protein used by SARS-CoV-2 to invade human cells. The goal is to disrupt the protein’s interaction with the virus without impairing its function in the organism.
Estrogens may protect women from COVID-19 (June 10, 2020)
A study supported by FAPESP is investigating the possibility that estrogens inhibit the progression of the disease. The goal is to find medications for the treatment of COVID-19.
Researchers in Brazil investigate mechanisms that trigger the inflammatory phase of COVID-19 (June 10, 2020)
Scientists affiliated with a research center supported by FAPESP set out to understand the strategies used by immune cells to combat the most severe phase of the disease.
Vulnerability of Brazilian workers evaluated in crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic (June 10, 2020)
Only 13.8% of the workforce has jobs in sectors not badly hit by social isolation according to a research network set up to propose ways of improving the quality of government policies for dealing with the crisis.
Researchers discover mechanism that makes COVID-19 more severe in diabetics (June 03, 2020)
Higher blood glucose levels captured by defense cells provide energy for augmented viral replication, triggering overwhelming immune response that kills lung cells.
Study shows advantage of alternating quarantines in cities across the state of São Paulo (June 03, 2020)
Strategy would maintain economic activity and protect healthcare services, according to system developed by a research center supported by FAPESP.
Brazilian researchers develop rapid test to detect novel coronavirus (June 03, 2020)
The device will identify parts of the virus’s RNA in the saliva of infected subjects. Other initiatives by the research group at the Federal University of São Carlos include developing sensors to look for the pathogen in the air and in sewerage systems.
The COVID-19 pandemic requires society to provide more care for the elderly (June 03, 2020)
Some 300,000 older people live alone in São Paulo City, and more than 8,000 say they have no one to turn to for help. A study supported by FAPESP describe their vulnerability in the ongoing public health crisis.
COVID-19 should be treated as a thrombotic disease, Brazilian pulmonologist argues (May 27, 2020)
Dr. Elnara Negri, who works in São Paulo City at the largest hospital complex in Latin America, advocates the use of the anti-coagulant drug heparin to treat complications caused by novel coronavirus.
Over 50% of adults in Brazil can be considered at risk for COVID-19 (May 27, 2020)
This study analyzes the prevalence of factors that increase the risk of severe manifestations of COVID-19, such as old age, chronic disease, obesity and smoking, among others. The proportion of the most susceptible people is 80% among those with less schooling.
Project to investigate how the novel coronavirus affects the olfactory system (May 27, 2020)
A group of scientists in the state of São Paulo plan to determine whether a sudden loss of smell is an early indication of COVID-19.
Only 1.2% of population of largest city in north of São Paulo State have been infected by SARS-CoV-2 (May 27, 2020)
Estimate is based on testing of 700 inhabitants of Ribeirão Preto in early May. Another round of testing will be conducted in June. The study is carried out by the University of São Paulo in partnership with the city’s health department.
Researchers in Brazil develop low-cost mechanical ventilators s (May 27, 2020)
Created at the University of São Paulo’s Engineering School (POLI-USP), the machine costs approximately 7% as much as a conventional ventilator and can be freely manufactured by companies that obtain approval from the national health surveillance authority.
Use of anticoagulant medication leads to 70% reduction in cell infection by novel coronavirus (May 20, 2020)
Laboratory tests conducted by collaborating Brazilian and European researchers showed that heparin alters the shape of the protein used by SARS-CoV-2 to penetrate host cells.
Median age of first patients diagnosed with COVID-19 in Brazil was lower than elsewhere (May 20, 2020)
Study shows that the 20-39 age group accounted for almost half the cases confirmed in the first month, possibly explaining why a smaller proportion of the total number infected were hospitalized in the period.
Academia-business partnership stimulates local production of inputs for key COVID-19 diagnostic test (May 20, 2020)
Researchers at the University of Campinas partner with biotech startups to promote local production of hitherto imported reagents. The goal is to increase Brazil’s capacity to perform RT-PCR tests, considered the gold standard for COVID-19 diagnosis.
Artificial intelligence to track news of COVID-19 (May 20, 2020)
Digital tool developed at the University of São Paulo’s Mathematics and Computer Sciences Institute (ICMC-USP) in São Carlos refines projections for the spread of the pandemic.
Face shield developed by the University of São Paulo is produced by industrial firms (May 20, 2020)
3D printed face shields are worn by frontline health workers over a conventional surgical mask.
Researchers in São Paulo will combine biotechnological techniques to formulate COVID-19 vaccine (May 13, 2020)
Scientists in Butantan Institute’s Special Vaccine Development Laboratory will couple SARS-CoV-2 antigen to bacterial membrane in order to trigger defense against coronavirus.
Brazilian startup develops technology for remote monitoring of patients with suspected COVID-19 (May 13, 2020)
Based on the Internet of Things, the system was developed in a project supported by FAPESP. Patients can be advised to seek hospital care if they detect a deterioration in clinical signs.
Novel coronavirus can infect human neurons (May 13, 2020)
Brazilian researchers are conducting tests with cultured cells to find out how COVID-19 changes patterns of proteins and other metabolites present in samples.
Satellite images confirm a decrease in airborne pollution in São Paulo (May 13, 2020)
A drop of 33% in levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) is associated with a reduction in diesel vehicle traffic and industrial production due to isolation measures taken to slow the spread of novel coronavirus.
Researchers develop rapid tests to diagnose COVID-19 (May 6, 2020)
Several initiatives are pursuing alternatives to increase the number of diagnostic tests performed in Brazil. Research groups who previously developed low-cost rapid tests for Zika fever and other viral diseases are adapting these models for use in detecting SARS-CoV-2.
Startup develops reusable mask with enhanced protection against novel coronavirus (May 6, 2020)
Developed with FAPESP’s support via its small business program, the N95-type respirator is made of material containing silica-silver microparticles with antimicrobial and antifungal properties that hinder surface adhesion by SARS-CoV-2.
Pollution in São Paulo fell by 50% in just one week but remains high in the city center (May 6, 2020)
A drastic reduction in traffic due to the coronavirus lockdown resulted in a rapid decrease in airborne pollution: The levels of carbon monoxide fell by 50% in São Paulo City in a single week.
Study identifies potential target for treatment of COVID-1 (April 29, 2020)
Brazilian researchers show that the activity of the gene TRIB3 in lung cells declines in men as they age. Compounds capable of reversing the process could be tested against the novel coronavirus.
Antibodies to treat COVID-19 will be developed in laboratory (April 29, 2020)
To develop a drug capable of treating the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, a research institution in São Paulo will deploy a platform used to produce monoclonal antibodies against tetanus and zika.
Startups develop system that detects fever remotely in people approaching hospital front desks (April 29, 2020)
AI-based technology developed by a São Paulo startup supported by FAPESP is in use at Albert Einstein Jewish Hospital to reduce the risk of coronavirus transmission.
FAPESP selects 30 projects in call for research proposals to combat novel coronavirus (April 29, 2020)
Selected projects aim to repurpose existing drugs for treatment of COVID-19, find novel compounds with therapeutic potential and develop alternative diagnostic methods. The call remains open until June 22.
Brazilian researchers test treatment with antibodies from patients who have recovered from COVID-19 (April 22, 2020)
Scientists affiliated with the FAPESP-funded Center for Cell-Based Therapy have collected plasma from donors and are conducting a trial to check the safety and effectiveness of passive immunization.
Startup supported by FAPESP will supply mechanical ventilators to Brazil’s Health Ministry (April 22, 2020)
Based in São Paulo, Magnamed will produce 6,500 ventilators by August for use in treating COVID-19 patients, working in partnership with a pool of leading Brazilian and multinational corporations.
Laboratory infrastructure in the state of São Paulo forms COVID-19 diagnostic testing platform (April 22, 2020)
The initiative is coordinated by Butantan Institute and includes units in several cities accredited by Adolfo Lutz Institute (IAL), the regional reference laboratory. Short supply is the main bottleneck delaying the expansion of testing in the state.
Researchers join forces to combat coronavirus (April 22, 2020)
Researchers at the University of Campinas are organizing professionals, supplies and equipment to test for COVID-19, understand how the virus works, identify existing drugs that are effective against the disease, and use 3D printing to produce parts for ventilators and personal protective equipment.
Technology optimizes use of mechanical ventilation and ICU beds (April 22, 2020)
Electrical impedance tomography system developed by startup based in São Paulo minimizes complications associated with mechanical ventilation and is used in the treatment of COVID-19 by hospitals in Italy, Spain and the US.
Patients with chronic diseases display increased expression of gene that facilitates SARS-CoV-2 infection (April 15, 2020)
Metabolic changes associated with diseases such as pulmonary hypertension and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease may reprogram gene expression to increase production of a protein used by SARS-CoV-2 to penetrate lung cells.
Results of COVID-19 autopsies offer help with treatment of severe cases (April 15, 2020)
Brazilian researchers use minimally invasive technique to perform autopsies on deceased patients diagnosed with COVID-19, with the aim of assisting physicians and other health workers.
Housing deficit makes “vertical isolation” impossible, Brazilian researchers say (April 15, 2020)
Research by the FAPESP-funded Center for Metropolitan Studies (CEM) shows that it is not feasible to separate high-risk groups in low-income communities, where the majority of the Brazilian population live. The problem is especially acute in the Southeast region, with metropolitan São Paulo displaying the largest deficit.
FAPESP selects first projects in call to combat COVID-19 (April 15, 2020)
One of the studies will evaluate the effectiveness of drugs that inhibit bradykinin against pulmonary inflammation in critical patients. The other will analyze the transmission dynamics of the novel coronavirus in a small town in Amazonia.
Researchers seek test capable of predicting whether COVID-19 patients may develop severe complications (April 8, 2020)
Scientists in the state of São Paulo are working on a method of diagnosing the disease quickly and cheaply by combining an analysis of the pattern of molecules in body fluids with machine learning.
Brazilian researchers test potential drugs against novel coronavirus (April 8, 2020)
Scientists at Brazil’s National Energy and Materials Research Center are analyzing the antiviral action of commercially available drugs in cultured cells.
New coronavirus is produced in Brazilian laboratory (April 8, 2020)
Researchers explains how their experience with the Zika virus, made possible with funding from FAPESP, helped them to cultured the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus.
54.8% of COVID-19 cases imported to Brazil by March 5 came from Italy (April 1, 2020)
In contrast with China and other countries where the disease spread slowly, in Brazil more than 300 people started the epidemic. Most were passengers flying in from Italy.
Strategy pursued in developing Ebola vaccine could be used to produce COVID-19 vaccine (April 1, 2020)
In animal testing, experimental Ebola vaccine based on platform developed by US pharmaceutical company in partnership with Brazilian researchers conferred immunity against hemorrhagic virus with single dose.
Minimally invasive autopsies confirm deaths due to COVID-19 in São Paulo (March 25, 2020)
Techniques developed by researchers at the University of São Paulo with FAPESP’s support are helping to enhance the safety of health workers and enable scientists to understand more about the biology of the disease.
FAPESP will fund research to combat COVID-19 (March 25, 2020)
Researchers, small businesses and startups will receive BRL 30 million for projects to develop diagnostic kits, therapies and therapeutic procedures, ventilators, personal protective equipment for health workers and solutions for health services, among others.
Brazilian scientists are developing a vaccine against the new coronavirus (March 18, 2020)
Using a novel technological platform, researchers at the University of São Paulo plan to produce a candidate vaccine against SARS-CoV-2 for testing in animals in the next few months.
Researchers in São Paulo produce new coronavirus in the laboratory (March 11, 2020)
Samples of the virus will be distributed to public and private clinical laboratories all over Brazil for use as positive controls. The goal is to enhance the labs’ capacity to perform diagnostic tests.< /p>
Technology used to sequence coronavirus in Brazil will enable scientists to monitor epidemic in real time (March 04, 2020)
With FAPESP’s support, researchers at the University of São Paulo in Brazil and Oxford University in the UK trained the team at Adolfo Lutz Institute to use the methodology even before the virus arrived in Brazil. The genomic data will be useful for the development of vaccines and diagnostic tests.