Gran Premio Nacional de Medicina to researchers in tuberculosis and Covid19

January 17, 2023

Two papers involving scientists from the Institut Pasteur de Montevideo won first and second place in the Gran Premio Nacional de Medicina, awarded annually by Academia Nacional de Medicina de Uruguay.

The first prize went to the project “Tuberculosis: from the clinic to the laboratory, and from the laboratory to the patient and the health system. An example of Translational Medicine”, led by Gonzalo Greif (IP Montevideo), together with Carlos Robello, Joaquín Hurtado, Nicolás Nin, María Buroni, Álvaro Giordano, Cecilia Coithiño y Fernando Rodríguez.

This project is the result of 15 years of research into the causative agent of tuberculosis. In particular, it involved the design of a genomic method to characterise the type of strain of Mycobacterium tuberculosis – the bacterium that causes tuberculosis – that affects each patient. Knowing the strain in question can help in better treatment and monitoring of the disease, or knowing, for example, whether the strain is resistant to any of the drugs used to treat the clinical condition.

The research also resulted in the identification of a substance that functions as a marker in the blood that can help predict the severity of the disease. This could be useful for medical decision-making in critically ill patients.

Second place went to “Clinical and translational research in critically ill patients with Covid-19”, led by Dr Nicolás Nin, from the Intensive Care Unit of the Hospital Español. This project also included, as co-authors and collaborators, Gonzalo Moratorio, Pilar Moreno, Gregorio Iraola, Fabián Aldunate, Álvaro Fajardo, Natalia Echeverría, Marianoel Pereira-Gómez, Rodrigo Arce, Joaquín Hurtado, Andrés López-Radcenco, Fernando Rodríguez, Guillermo Moyna, Diego Ferla, Diego Simón, Álvaro Giordano, Gonzalo Greif, Mercedes Corral, Alexander Rauhut, Alicia Costabile, Paula Perbolianachis, Regina Pontartier, Mercedes Paz, Irene Ferreiro, Manuela De Castro, María Buroni, Cecilia Vilarino, Patricia Lacuesta, Romina Guereldian, Cecilia Salazar, Solana Feippe, Patricia Fernández and Carlos Quiroga.

This research conducted a comprehensive clinical and laboratory analysis of patients with COVID-19, with monitoring of SARS-CoV-2 genetic variants and assessment of pathogen distribution on surfaces in the hospital environment.

The information obtained may be of benefit in developing hospital infection control guidelines, predicting prognosis and reducing both mortality and sequelae of the disease.

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