UMinho researcher will have her surname associated with a virus

The appointment of Joana Azeredo as “godmother” of the virus has now been announced by the chairman of the Subcommittee on Bacteria and Archies Viruses of the International Committee on Virus Taxonomy, Andrew Kropinski.

The professor at the School of Engineering at the University of Minho and researcher at the Center for Biological Engineering (CEB) admits that having the appointment because of a virus “is ironic” at this time.

There are currently 43 subfamilies of bacterial viruses and only 14 of them have been named in tribute to scientists.

In the case of the ‘Azeredovirinae’ family, it includes viruses that infect and kill bacteria of the genus Staphylococcus, which cause disease in humans.

These viruses can be used to control infectious diseases through so-called phage therapy.

The criterion for demarcating this new genus of virus is to differ by at least 5% from the DNA of other species in the family.

Joana Azeredo’s team recently stood out by creating a “virus bank” to treat diseases caused by antibiotic-resistant bacteria, one of the biggest health problems in the world, whether for chronic diseases, hospital infections or respiratory, skin and skin infections. nervous, digestive and urinary systems.

UMinho scientists are building the first synthetic phages and moving on to laboratory tests on animals.

Phage therapy is already used in patients from several countries in Europe and seen as an alternative treatment, especially in very severe, incurable or life-threatening cases.

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