Sino-Brazilian Scientists Join Hands to Tackle Emerging Infectious Diseases


Infectious diseases pose a great threat to global public health even in present days with advanced science and technology. Prevention and control of infectious diseases play an important part in building a community with shared health.

More than 150 scientists from China and Brazil gathered for a three-day webinar from Dec. 14 to 16, 2021 to share their research and development on infectious diseases, especially emerging infectious diseases.

The webinar was initiated by George F. Gao, Member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) and Carlos Morel, Full Member of Brazilian Academy of Sciences, and sponsored by the Institute of Microbiology of CAS (IMCAS) and Oswaldo Cruz Foundation(Fiocruz) of Brazil.

“Infectious diseases gravely threaten the health of all mankind, and are serious challenges to global public health,” said ZHANG Yaping, Vice President of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, in his opening remarks for the webinar.

Experts from scientific and industrial sectors held discussions on S&T and industrialization collaboration, focused on mechanisms of viral infection and interspecies transmission, immune response mechanism and clinical diagnosis and treatment, as well as research and development strategies of vaccines, antibodies and small molecule drugs.

China's epidemic prevention success is inseparable from its construction of infrastructure and virus monitoring and pre-warning, according to George F. Gao. He repeatedly emphasized the importance of monitoring and pre-warning of emerging infectious diseases and that of the vaccination. “Emergence of many viruses is, an inevitable gray rhino incident, rather than an accidental black swan incident,” he said.

GAO’s point of view was echoed by Morel, agreeing that “this pandemic demonstrated the importance of predicting, preventing and trying to control not only emerging infectious diseases, but, in particular, the need to study and elucidate the mechanisms that lead to the appearance of NEW pathogens endowed with pandemic potential”.

Virus has no borders. “It is only extensive and in-depth collaboration in research and prevention of infectious diseases, that can help tackle the challenges that pose to human health,” said ZHANG.

Established in 1958, IMCAS is China’s largest microbiological research institution, focusing on research areas including mycology, virology, physiology and biochemistry, biophysics, genetics, agricultural microbiology, industrial microbiology and geomicrobiology.

The Institute attaches great importance to cooperation with international scientific community and industries. IMCAS started collaboration with Fiocruz in 2017 and reached consensus on prevention and control of infectious diseases.

Both sides hope to promote research collaboration on viral infection and inter-species transmission mechanism of infectious diseases, and research and technology transfer of vaccines and antibodies.

“Monitoring and research on the virus through international collaboration is of great significance to track closely the development of the global epidemic situation, and to promote research on the biological characteristics of viruses, gene mutation, virus transmission and phylogenetic reconstruction,” said QIAN Wei, director of IMCAS. “This will provide scientific basis and support for epidemic prevention and control,” he said.

Fiocruz is a national scientific institution in biological sciences located in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Founded in 1900 by Dr. Oswaldo Cruz, a noted physician and epidemiologist, Fiocruz is the most important institution of science and technology in health in Latin America, being a reference for research in the area of public health.

“Collaboration in science and technology benefits people of both Brazil and China. The participation of China, with its advanced technology in medical treatment and health care, is vital for the bilateral collaboration of the two countries,” said Nísia Trindade Lima, President of Fiocruz.

Scientists from the China and Brazil have conducted extensive exchanges in infectious diseases, with major research results in top international journals, and jointly promoted clinical trials of zika virus and flavivirus test strips in Brazil.

“We hope that the friendly relation between Brazil and China, especially the preceding bilateral collaboration experience, will be a milestone and a footstone for our future collaboration,” said Paulo Estivalletde Mesquita, Ambassador of Brazil to China, at the opening ceremony.




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