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Nuno Faria

ZiBRA project: real-time sequencing of Zika virus in Brazil.

About Nuno Faria

Nuno’s research focuses on investigating the evolution and molecular epidemiology of rapidly evolving viruses, particularly arboviruses such as Zika, dengue and Chikungunya viruses. He is interested in understanding the factors driving the ignition, establishment and spread of human viruses by integrating genetic, spatial and ecological information. This information could be useful to aid anticipation of virus spread and to design targeted public health responses.


A revolution is occurring in genomic epidemiology. Recently, real-time portable genome sequencing using the Oxford Nanopore MinION device was successfully used to characterize the genetic diversity of the Ebola virus outbreak in Guinea. We are extending this ground-breaking achievement to Zika virus by establishing up the ZiBRA project - a mobile portable genome sequencing laboratory in Brazil. Through collaboration with Instituto Evandro Chagas and Fundação Oswaldo Cruz public health laboratories in Brazil we will perform real-time genomic surveillance of Zika, Chikungunya and dengue viruses, covering a broad geographical region including historical samples, and from patients with a range of clinical presentations. Data will be subject to open release as it is generated with project progress and discussed via the applicants forum. This effort will serve as a beacon for open science during a public health emergency.

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