Sandra L López-Vergès

Sandra L López-Vergès
The Gorgas Memorial Institute for Health Studies (GMI) | ICGES · Department of Research in Virology and Biotechnology

PhD

About

78
Publications
19,824
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Introduction
Sandra L López-Vergès currently works at the Department of Research in Virology and Biotechnology, The Gorgas Memorial Institute for Health Studies (GMI). Sandra does research in Molecular Biology, Cell Biology and Immunology. Their current project is 'Arboviral diseases (Dengue, Zika, Chikungunya...) in Panama'.
Additional affiliations
January 2012 - present
The Gorgas Memorial Institute for Health Studies (GMI)
Position
  • Researcher
Description
  • Research on arboviruses and immune response against arboviruses.
September 2007 - November 2011
University of California, San Francisco
Position
  • PostDoc Position
September 2003 - May 2007
Institut Cochin
Position
  • PhD Student

Publications

Publications (78)
Preprint
Human Parechoviruses, officially known as Parechovirus A (PeV-A), is associated with mild gastrointestinal and respiratory illness in young children, however, they may also give rise to Central Nervous System (CNS) infections and neonatal sepsis. While studies have delved into the detection of PeV-A in different populations, the detection of PeV-A...
Preprint
Human parechoviruses, officially known as Parechovirus A (PeV-A), from the family Picornaviri-dae, genus Parechovirus, are non-enveloped, icosahedral, positive-sense RNA viruses associated with mild gastrointestinal and respiratory illness in young children, however, they may also give rise to Central Nervous System (CNS) infections and neonatal se...
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Full-text available
Early in the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, many national public health authorities implemented non-pharmaceutical interventions to mitigate disease outbreaks. Panamá established mandatory mask use two months after its first documented case. Initial compliance was high, but diverse masks were used in public areas. We studied behavioral dynamics of mask use t...
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Scientific collaborations among nations to address common problems and to build international partnerships as part of science diplomacy is a well-established notion. The international flow of people and ideas has played an important role in the advancement of the ‘Sciences’ and the current pandemic scenario has drawn attention towards the genuine n...
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The emergence of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has caused a major international public health concern. The World Health Organization (WHO) declared the pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) on March 11, 2020. In Panama, the first SARS-CoV-2 infection was confirmed on March 9, 2020, and the first fatal case a...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background: Early in the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, many national public health authorities implemented non-pharmaceutical interventions to mitigate disease outbreaks. Panama established mandatory mask use two months after its first documented case. Initial compliance was high, but diverse masks were used in public areas. We studied behavioral dynamics o...
Article
Full-text available
We report a case of reinfection by SARS-CoV-2 with the second virus harboring amino acid changes in the Spike protein (141-143del, D215A, ins215AGY, L452R, D614 G), orf1a, helicase, orf3a, and Nucleocapside. The virus associated with the reinfection, from an endemic lineage containing the S:L452R immune escape mutation, was circulating in Panama at...
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Science diplomacy is a fast-growing field of research, policy, and practice dedicated to understanding and reinforcing the connections between science and international affairs to tackle national, regional, and global issues. By aligning science and diplomacy, countries can attract talent, strengthen their national research ecosystems, provide aven...
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Novel severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is the etiologic agent of the ongoing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, which has reached 28 million cases worldwide in 1 year. The serological detection of antibodies against the virus will play a pivotal role in complementing molecular tests to improve diagnostic accur...
Preprint
Despite the failures to tackle early coordinated responses at national and multinational levels, the global emergence of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic promoted unprecedented actions on the science-policy, science-communication, and science-diplomacy interfaces worldwide. With varying degrees of success, various actions within the rea...
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There is limited evidence regarding severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 infection in the placenta of pregnant women who tested positive, and if this could be a route for vertical transmission of the virus in utero. We present the cases of 2 pregnant women in their third trimester who were admitted for delivery by cesarean delivery and w...
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We report an epidemiologic analysis of 4,210 cases of infection with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 and genetic analysis of 313 new near-complete virus genomes in Panama during March 9–April 16, 2020. Although containment measures reduced R0 and Rt, they did not interrupt virus spread in the country.
Method
Full-text available
Algoritmo diagnóstico de laboratorio para la detección del SARS CoV-2 en Panamá. Elaborado por expertos del el Ministerio de Salud de Panamá y el Instituto Conmemorativo Gorgas (ICGES) Se complementa con la estrategia basada en los síntomas (E.B.S.) para la interrupción del aislamiento de personas con COVID-19. Debe cumplir los 3 parámetros siguie...
Article
Dengue virus (DENV) is a significant cause of morbidity in many regions of the world, with children at the greatest risk of developing severe dengue. NK cells, characterized by their ability to rapidly recognize and kill virally infected cells, are activated during acute DENV infection. However, their role in viral clearance versus pathogenesis has...
Preprint
Full-text available
Novel severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is the etiologic agent of the ongoing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, which has reached 28 million cases worldwide in eight months. The serological detection of antibodies against the virus will play a pivotal role in complementing molecular tests to improve diagnostic...
Article
RESUMEN El nuevo coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 ha causado miles de muertes alrededor del mundo. La mayoría de los fallecimientos ocurren en instalaciones sanitarias; sin embargo, un número indeterminado de enfermos fallecen de manera súbita, inesperada o repentina en diversos lugares y representan casos de interés médico legal. Compartimos los hallazgos d...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background With more than 50000 accumulated cases, Panama has one of the highest incidences of SARS-CoV-2 in Central America, despite the fast implementation of disease control strategies. We investigated the early transmission patterns of the virus and the outcomes of mitigation measures in the country. Methods We collected information from epidem...
Preprint
Full-text available
Dengue virus (DENV) is a significant cause of morbidity in many regions of the world, with children at the greatest risk of developing severe dengue. Natural killer (NK) cells, characterized by their ability to rapidly recognize and kill virally infected cells, are activated during acute DENV infection. However, their role in viral clearance versus...
Preprint
Full-text available
Latin America is home to more than 600 million people and has considerable natural and human resources. However, investment in science and technology (S&T) lags far behind that in developed countries. This gap represents a barrier to the development of economies based on knowledge and hampers the region's ability to tackle environmental and social...
Preprint
Latin America is home to more than 600 million people and has considerable natural and human resources. However, investment in science and technology (S&T) lags far behind that in developed countries. This gap represents a barrier to the development of economies based on knowledge and hampers the region's ability to tackle environmental and social...
Article
Full-text available
Dengue virus (DENV) is the most prevalent arbovirus in terms of human public health importance globally. In addition to DENV epidemiological surveillance, genomic surveillance may help investigators understand the epidemiological dynamics, geographic distribution, and temporal patterns of DENV circulation. Herein, we aimed to reconstruct the molecu...
Article
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Dengue virus (DENV) is the most prevalent mosquito-borne virus in the world and a major cause of morbidity in the tropics and subtropics. Upregulation of HLA class I molecules has long been considered a feature of DENV infection, yet this has not been evaluated in the setting of natural infection. Natural killer (NK) cells, an innate immune cell su...
Preprint
Full-text available
Dengue virus (DENV) is the most prevalent mosquito-borne virus in the world and a major cause of morbidity in the tropics and subtropics. Upregulation of HLA class I molecules has long been considered a feature of DENV infection, yet this has not been evaluated in the setting of natural infection. Natural killer (NK) cells, an innate immune cell su...
Article
Zika virus (ZIKV) was first detected in the Americas in Brazil in 2015, with a rapid spread to surrounding countries. In Panama, the outbreak began in November 2015 in an indigenous community located on the Caribbean side of the country. Zika virus is typically associated with a diffuse rash, fever, and conjunctivitis. It can rarely cause neurologi...
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Purpose of review In this review, we attempt to give the reader an update on clinical diagnosis, management, and treatment of Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) infection regarding the course of the disease and the role of clinical laboratory. CHIKV infection evolves through three phases: acute, sub-acute, and chronic. Protocol for patient assessment and ma...
Article
The circulation of the South-east Asian/American (AS/AM) dengue 2 virus (DENV-2) genotype in the Americas has been associated with a high rate of severe disease. From 1993, the year DENV was reintroduced in Panama, until 2011 there were 29 dengue-associated deaths, 17 of which occurred in 2011, the most severe outbreak with a case fatality rate (CF...
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An investigation in Panama found that Punta Toro virus species complex (PTVs) may contribute to febrile illnesses with symptoms mirroring those of dengue fever. However, further studies are needed to determine if PTV infection causes only a mild disease or if it can have more serious manifestations in some patients.
Article
In Panama, human respiratory syncytial virus (HRSV) is responsible of 20 to 40 percent of acute respiratory infections in children under five years old. Currently, little is known about the genetic variability of HRSV in Central America and the Caribbean. Recently, we reported the genetic variability of HRSV-A, however; no studies on HRSV-B in Pana...
Article
Some of the major arboviruses with public health importance, such as dengue, yellow fever, Zika and West Nile virus are mosquito-borne or mosquito-transmitted Flavivirus. Their principal vectors are from the family Culicidae, Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus being responsible of the urban cycles of dengue, Zika and yellow fever virus. These vecto...
Data
Phylogenetic tree of Punta Toro species complex (PTVs), location and number of dengue-negatives samples in Panama analyzed for PTVs in 2009, and demographic characteristics and symptoms of persons with PTV infection versus those with dengue.
Article
Full-text available
Background Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) typically causes explosive epidemics of fever, rash and polyarthralgia after its introduction into naïve populations. Since its introduction in Panama in May of 2014, few autochthonous cases have been reported; most of them were found within limited outbreaks in Panama City in 2014 and Puerto Obaldia town, near...
Data
Flow chart for the notification of chikungunya or dengue cases of the Ministry of Health for Panama. (TIF)
Data
Dengue and chikungunya detection in samples received by National Dengue Surveillance Program during 2014 until July 2015 (Epidemiological week 26). (DOCX)
Data
Flow chart of National Dengue Surveillance Laboratory Program. (TIF)
Data
Flow chart of National Chikungunya Surveillance Laboratory Program. (TIF)
Data
Epidemic curve of chikungunya and dengue cases and vector infestation rates reported in Rio Abajo and Juan Diaz counties from 2014 to July 2015. A. Rio Abajo County B. Juan Diaz County. Red bar represents chikungunya imported cases and green bar autochthonous cases. Grey bar represent dengue cases and line blue represent the infestation index mosqu...
Article
Antitumor T cells are subject to multiple mechanisms of negative regulation. Recent findings that innate lymphoid cells (ILCs) regulate adaptive T cell responses led us to examine the regulatory potential of ILCs in the context of cancer. We identified a unique ILC population that inhibits tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) from high-grade serou...
Data
Distribution of symptoms by patients with Zika, dengue, and chikungunya virus infections in the Guna Yala region of Panama, November 27, 2015–January 22, 2016; epidemiologic curve for the outbreak of Zika virus infection in this region; and maximum-likelihood tree of the Zika virus isolated during the outbreak.
Article
p>Resumen El propósito de esta revisión es presentar al equipo de salud latinoamericano y de la región del caribe un panorama de la situación actual con el virus Zika (ZIKAV), y al mismo tiempo, proveer conocimiento clínica y molecular relevante para enfrentar este problema emergente. Esperamos que esta revisión tenga un impacto positivo en el diag...
Article
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The purpose of this review is to provide Latin America's and the region's healthcare professionals with an overview of the current situation related to Zika virus (ZIKAV), and at the same time, to provide relevant clinical and molecular knowledge against this emerging problem. We expect to have a positive impact in diagnostic, surveillance and trea...
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Viruses in the genus Flavivirus (family Flaviviridae) include many arthropod-borne viruses of public health and veterinary importance. However, during the past two decades an explosion of novel insect-specific flaviviruses (ISFs), some closely related to vertebrate pathogens, have been discovered. Although many flavivirus pathogens of vertebrates h...
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Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) is a mosquito-borne pathogen that was only endemic in Africa and south Asia until 2005 and 2006, when the virus spread into the Indian Ocean islands, Europe, and Asia. Autochthonous CHIKV transmission in the Caribbean islands was reported in December of 2013. In Panama, two febrile cases were detected in May of 2014: one t...
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Natural killer (NK) cells contribute to clinical responses in patients treated with rituximab, but the rules determining NK cell responsiveness to mAb therapies are poorly defined. A deeper understanding of the mechanisms responsible for antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC) could yield useful biomarkers for predicting clinical responses...
Article
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The innate immune response, in addition to the B- and T-cell response, plays a role in protection against dengue virus (DENV) infection and the degree of disease severity. Early activation of natural killer (NK) cells and type-I interferon-dependent immunity may be important in limiting viral replication during the early stages of DENV infection an...
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A subset of CD3negCD56negCD16+ Natural Killer (NK) cells is highly expanded during chronic HIV-1 infection. The role of this subset in HIV-1 pathogenesis remains unclear. The lack of NK cell lineage-specific markers has complicated the study of minor NK cell subpopulations. Using CD7 as an additional NK cell marker, we found that CD3negCD56negCD16+...
Article
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The eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) and Venezuelan equine encephalitis (VEE) viruses are pathogens that infect humans and horses in the Americas. Outbreaks of neurologic disease in humans and horses were reported in Panama from May through early August 2010. We performed antibody assays and tests to detect viral RNA and isolate the viruses in ser...
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Palabras clave: dengue, diagnóstico, NS1 (proteína no estructural 1), ELISA de captura de NS1, IgM, genoma viral, RT-PCR, aislamiento viral, sensibilidad. Resumen Introducción. El dengue es una enfermedad infecciosa endémica en Panamá, por lo cual debemos tener un algoritmo de diagnóstico sensible y rápido para realizar un diagnóstico temprano, tom...
Article
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Natural killer (NK) cells are innate lymphocytes that play an important role against viral infections and cancer. This effect is achieved through a complex mosaic of inhibitory and activating receptors expressed by NK cells that ultimately determine the magnitude of the NK-cell response. The T-cell immunoglobulin- and mucin domain-containing (Tim)-...
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During mouse cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection, a population of Ly49H(+) natural killer (NK) cells expands and is responsible for disease clearance through the induction of a "memory NK-cell response." Whether similar events occur in human CMV infection is unknown. In the present study, we characterized the kinetics of the NK-cell response to CMV rea...
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356 In healthy individuals human cytomegalovirus (hCMV) infection is asymptomatic or a mild illness. In immunosuppressed patients after hematopoietic cell transplantation, however, CMV is potentially life-threatening complication. We have previously shown that upon mouse CMV infection, a population of Ly49H+ NK cells expand and are responsible for...
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During human CMV infection, there is a preferential expansion of natural killer (NK) cells expressing the activating CD94-NKG2C receptor complex, implicating this receptor in the recognition of CMV-infected cells. We hypothesized that NK cells expanded in response to pathogens will be marked by expression of CD57, a carbohydrate antigen expressed o...
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Immunological memory is a hallmark of the adaptive immune system. However, the ability to remember and respond more robustly against a second encounter with the same pathogen has been described in organisms lacking T and B cells. Recently, NK cells have been shown to mediate Ag-specific recall responses in several different model systems. Although...
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Natural killer (NK) cells are innate immune lymphocytes that express a heterogeneous repertoire of germline-encoded receptors and undergo a distinct pattern of maturation. CD57 is a marker of terminal differentiation on human CD8(+) T cells. Very few newborn or fetal NK cells express CD57; however, the frequency of CD57-bearing NK cells increases w...
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Macrophages are among the major targets of HIV-1 infection and play a key role in viral pathogenesis. Identification of the cellular cofactors involved in the production of infectious HIV-1 from macrophages is thus crucial. Here, we investigated the role of the cellular cofactor TIP47 in HIV-1 morphogenesis in primary macrophages. Using siRNA appro...
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Macrophages are, along with T CD4+lymphocytes, the major targets of HIV-1 infection and play a key role in viral pathogenesis as a significant reservoir. Identification of the cellular cofactors involved in the production of infectious HIV-1 from macrophages is thus crucial. Nevertheless molecular mechanisms allowing the production of infectious pa...