Medical Microbiology

Teresa Gonçalves

PhD, Group Leader

The main interests of the Medical Microbiology Group are centered in microbial agents of human disease, its biological traits relevant to infection and seeking for innovative therapies. Immunosenescence, rendering the elderly more susceptible to infection, is one of our major focus (e.g. gut inflammation and respiratory diseases). To accomplish this the group uses both in vivo and in vitro infection models, human samples, analytical tools. We assembled Standard Operation Procedures (SOPs) for antimicrobials screenings (antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal). Together with permanent medical specialists collaborators (e.g. allergology, otorhinolaryngology, clinical pathology) it fosters the translational between basic- and patient-oriented research. We keep fruitful collaborations with research centers of excellence, nationals, such the BioChem at CIMO (Portugal), N Santos at IMM (Portugal), MC Gameiro da Silva and J Costa of ADAI (Portugal) and international, such as the John Hopkins University (USA), and more recently, with Jay E Slater, Division of Bacterial Parasitic and Allergenic Products, Office of Vaccines Research and Review, of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Our research efforts are directed to:

  • The role of purines and its receptors, in particular adenosine receptors, in the switch commensalism-infection and in microbiota homeostasis, opening novel approaches to alleviate infection-related damage and chronic inflammation, especially in the elderly;
  • The biology and proteome of filamentous fungi considered major agents of respiratory allergic and invasive diseases, identification of novel allergens and delivery modes, aiming to improve diagnosis, treatment and prevention severe respiratory diseases;
  • Monitorization, quantification and control of airborne agents transmission (viral, bacterial, fungal);
  • Seeking for novel antimicrobials extracted from natural resources, an effort aligned with one of the Human Health Priorities, in the quest for effective infection control drugs.

Group Members

Group Members

Group members are: Teresa Gonçalves (PhD, Group Leader), António Carlos MIguéis (MD, PhD), Chantal Fernandes (PhD), Lisa Rodrigues (PhD), Célia Nogueira (PhD), Patrícia Diogo (MD, PhD), Rui Soares (MD, PhD student), Gil Correia (MD, PhD student), Edmilson Correia (PhD student), Mariana Afonso (PhD student), Joana Oliveira (MSc), Daniela Calheiros (MSc), Rita Domingues (MSc), Jorge Varandas Lindo (MD student), Ana Filipa Silva (MSc student), Guilherme Silva (MSc student).

Selected Publications

Fernandes C, Mota M, Barros L, Dias MI, Ferreira IC, Piedade AP, Casadevall A, Teresa Goncalves (2021). • Pyomelanin synthesis in Alternaria alternata inhibits DHN-melanin synthesis and decreases cell wall chitin content and thickness. Frontiers in Microbiology, 12. DOI: 10.3389/fmicb.2021.691433

Afonso M, Mestre AR, Silva G, Almeida AC, Cunha RA, Meyer-Fernandes JR, Gonçalves T and Rodrigues L (2021) Candida Extracellular Nucleotide Metabolism Promotes Neutrophils Extracellular Traps Escape. Front. Cell. Infect. Microbiol. 11:678568. doi: 10.3389/fcimb.2021.678568

Figueiredo AB, de Oliveira E Castro RA, Nogueira-Paiva NC, Moreira F, Gonçalves FQ, Soares RP, Castro-Borges W, Silva GG, Cunha RA, Gonçalves T, Afonso LCC (2021). Clustering of adenosine A2B receptors with ectonucleotidases in caveolin-rich lipid rafts underlies immunomodulation by Leishmania amazonensis. FASEB J. May;35(5):e21509. doi: 10.1096/fj.202002396RR. PMID: 33813781

Gonçalves T., Oliveira J., Fernandes C. (2021) Filamentous Fungi Extracellular Vesicles. In: Rodrigues M., Janbon G. (eds) Fungal Extracellular Vesicles. Current Topics in Microbiology and Immunology, vol 432. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-83391-6_5

Correia G, Rodrigues L, Gameiro da Silva M, Gonçalves T. Airborne route and bad use of ventilation systems as non-negligible factors in SARS-CoV-2 transmission. Medical Hypotheses. 2020 Apr;141:109781. DOI: 10.1016/j.mehy.2020.109781.

Diogo P, Fernandes C, Caramelo F, Mota M, Miranda IM, Faustino MAF, Neves MGPMS, Uliana MP, de Oliveira KT, Santos JM and Gonçalves T (2017) Antimicrobial Photodynamic Therapy against Endodontic Enterococcus faecalis and Candida albicans Mono and Mixed Biofilms in the Presence of Photosensitizers: A Comparative Study with Classical Endodontic Irrigants. Front. Microbiol. 8:498. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2017.00498

Rodrigues L, Miranda IM, Andrade GM, Mota M, Cortes L, Rodrigues AG, Cunha RA, Gonçalves T (2016). Blunted dynamics of adenosine A2A receptors is associated with increased susceptibility to Candida albicansinfection in the elderly. Oncotarget, 7:62862-62872. doi: 10.18632/oncotarget.11760.

Fernandes C, Prados-Rosales R, Silva B, Nakouzi-Naranjo A, Zuzarte M, Chatterjee S, Stark RE, Casadevall A, Gonçalves T (2016). Activation of melanin synthesis in Alternaria infectoria by antifungal drugs. . Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, 60 (3): 1646-1655. doi: 10.1128/AAC.02190-15

Rodrigues L, Russo-Abrahão T, Cunha RA, Gonçalves T and Meyer-Fernandes JR (2016) Characterisation of extracellular nucleotide metabolism in Candida albicans. FEMS Microbiol Lett 363:fnv212. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/femsle/fnv212

Silva JCP, Mota M, Martins FO, Nogueira C, Gonçalves T, Carneiro T, Pinto J, Duarte D, Barros AS, Jones JG, Gil AM (2018). Intestinal Microbial and Metabolic Profiling of Mice Fed with High-Glucose and High-Fructose Diets. J Proteome Res. 17:2880-2891. doi: 10.1021/acs.jproteome.8b00354

Selected Projects

PureAir@Automotive, ADI – Innovation Agency. (POCI-01-02B7-FEDER-070195), cofinanciado pelo Fundo Europeu de Desenvolvimento Regional (FEDER) através do Programa Operacional Competitividade e Internacionalização (COMPETE 2020), do Portugal 2020 Oct 2020 – Oct 2021

Environmental monitoring of SARS-CoV-2 in an hemodialysis unit: a quest for preventing transmission in healthcare facilities, FCT, May 2020 - May 2021

Airways fungal colonization and respiratory allergies: Agents and Natural Prophylactic Approaches - PEPITA Program FMUC & Santander-Totta FMUC-BST-2017 (Oct 2017 – June 2018)

HEALTHY AGING2020: Chronic respiratory allergic diseases and gut inflammaging (WP8; Jan 2017 – Dez 2021).

Implementation of a UC collection of pathogenic yeasts (CYCUC). European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), through the Centro 2020 Regional Operational (March 2017 – December 2021) Programme under project CENTRO-01-0145-FEDER- 022095:ViraVector, and through Portuguese national funds via FCT – Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia

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