Reducing risk in respiratory infections

Protecting the most vulnerable

There are seven coronaviruses (CoV) that infect humans and cause up to 15% of mild respiratory infections. However, three of the CoV present a higher threat as they can cause severe pneumonia and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), which are potentially deadly conditions: SARS-CoV, MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2. The last one is the causative agent of the COVID-19 pandemic.

These CoV infections are especially problematic in the elderly population, which responds with lower efficacy to vaccination. The need for preventive measures as well as effective treatments for coronaviruses has remained, if not increased, with the recent pandemic.

Addressing new post-pandemic threats

A worldwide health concern

After the pandemic, a new threat rose for the survivors of SARS-CoV-2 infection: 4 to 20% of infected people developed a syndrome called post-acute sequelae of COVID (PASC). The most common symptoms include respiratory, neurological, cardiovascular, thrombotic and cerebrovascular manifestations, with many of those affected unable to return to work.

PASC is associated with all ages and can occur after mild, moderate or severe forms of the disease. This poses a public health threat and an important burden to societies and healthcare systems. With no diagnostic biomarkers or effective treatments available, there is an urgent need of research to understand, prevent, and develop measures to mitigate the effects of PASC.

Our lines of work

Unraveling viral mechanisms to fight back infection

Our group studies CoV replication and pathogenesis mechanisms and focuses on the study of virus-host interactions, the design of vaccines and the selection of antivirals to protect against acute severe respiratory CoV infections and post-acute sequelae of COVID.

We aim to understand in detail the innate immune response caused by these conditions and develop modulating mechanisms for both young and elderly populations.

CoV mechanisms of pathogenesis

CoV and immune system interactions

Development of new vaccines and antivirals

PASC mechanisms and resolution