By joining the GABRIEL international scientific network, the Charles Mérieux Center for Infectious Disease in Brazil will be able to set up new partnerships with member and partner entities in the network and have an increasing impact on research and health in Brazil.
The Center for Infectious Disease includes a Rodolphe Mérieux Laboratory, the fourth Brazilian laboratory to join the network, which is currently represented in 16 countries. The laboratory is part of the Fundhacre hospital, the largest in Acre state, which is an isolated region, mostly made up of remote rainforests and indigenous territory. The region’s geography and its remoteness from the most-developed regions of Brazil are natural barriers to access to healthcare and diagnosis for vulnerable populations.
The Rodolphe Mérieux Laboratory played a major role during the Covid pandemic, carrying out more than 80,000 tests and supporting public health work in Acre. Collaborations with Brazilian members of the GABRIEL network (LABINFO & Fiocruz Rio de Janeiro) allowed the variants of SARS-CoV-2 in circulation to be characterized. At the same time, a collaboration with Fiocruz Porto Velho (Rondônia) led to the standardization and supply of a viral load test for the hepatitis delta virus for use by clinicians. The partnership with Fiocruz also made it possible to set up the surveillance of arboviruses in this endemic region during the rainy season. Diagnostic tests to detect M. leprae in human tissue and resistance to anti-leprosy drugs are also being deployed.