about icvs | People | AFRAGA


Name: Alexandra Gabriel Fraga

Office: I3.02

School Phone: +351 253 604 834

Email: afraga@med.uminho.pt




Keywords: Mycobacterium ulcerans Buruli ulcer Immunology Host Pathogen Interactions Nanotechnology to treat mycobacterioses


1- Alexandra G. Fraga holds adegree in Applied Biology, a PhD in Health Sciences and is currently a junior researcher at the Microbiology and Infection Research Domain at the Life and Health Sciences Research Institute (ICVS), University of Minho.

2- Alexandra Fraga’s main areas of specialization include

·   Immunology of infection: study of the host immune responses against infections by pathogenic mycobacteria, specifically Mycobacterium ulcerans and Mycobacterium tuberculosis.


·   Prevention and treatmentstrategies: modulation of the host immune response as well as the bacterial activity byusing new vaccine strategies and systems of antimicrobial drug delivery.


·   Human genetics: identification of theregulatory effects of interindividual genetic variation on molecular and cellular processes of mycobacterial immunity that will aid in the design of novel prognostic, diagnostic and therapeutic targets for a personalized medical approach for mycobacterial diseases.


·  Animal experimentation: experience in the mouse and guinea pig model of infection under BSL2 and BSL3 conditions. FELASA Category C accreditation for animal experimentation by the Portuguese NationalAuthority for Animal Health (DGAV).


·  Biosafety and biosecurity: implementation and dissemination of institutional and personal preventive measures to promote the safe handling of biological agents and reduce the risk of individual exposure and avoid the risk of intentional removal or misuse of a biological agent with the intention of causing harm.

3- Alexandra Fraga’s bibliometrics include 27 peer-reviewed research articles, with an h-index of 15, an accumulated IF of 121 and over 1000 citations. 

The 10 most relevant papers are listed below:

- Fraga AG, Trigo G, MurthyRK, Akhtar S, Hebbur M, Pacheco AR, Dominguez J, Silva-Gomes R, Gonçalves CM,Oliveira H, Castro AG, Sharma U, Azeredo J and Pedrosa J. Antimicrobial activity of Mycobacteriophage D29 Lysin B during Mycobacterium ulcerans infection. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2019. Accepted for publication

- Capela C, Dossou AD, Silva-Gomes R, Sopoh GE, Makoutode M, Menino JF, Fraga AG, Cunha C, Carvalho A,Rodrigues F, Pedrosa J. Genetic Variation in Autophagy-Related Genes Influences the Risk and Phenotype of Buruli Ulcer. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2016 Apr29;10(4):e0004671. doi: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0004671

- Silva-Gomes R, Marcq E,Trigo G, Gonçalves CM, Longatto-Filho A, Castro AG, Pedrosa J, Fraga AG. Spontaneous Healing of Mycobacterium ulcerans Lesions in the Guinea Pig Model. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2015 Dec 1;9(12):e0004265. doi: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0004265.

- Fraga AG, Cruz A, MartinsTG, Torrado E, Saraiva M, Pereira DR, Meyers WM, Portaels F, Silva MT, CastroAG, Pedrosa J. Mycobacterium ulcerans triggers T-cell immunity followed by local and regional but not systemic immunosuppression. 2011. Infect Immun.79(1):421-30

- *Torrado E, *Fraga AG, Logarinho E, Martins TG, Carmona JA, Gama JB, Carvalho MA, Proença F, CastroAG, Pedrosa J. IFN-gamma-dependent activation of macrophages duringexperimental infections by Mycobacterium ulcerans is impaired by the toxinmycolactone. 2010. J Immunol. 184(2):947-55 *share co-authorship

- Cruz A, Fraga AG, FountainJJ, Rangel-Moreno J, Torrado E, Saraiva M, Pereira DR, Randall TD, Pedrosa J,Cooper AM, Castro AG. A pathological role for IL-17 in mice subjected to repeated BCG vaccination after infection with Mycobacterium tuberculosis. 2010.J Exp Med. 207(8):1609-16.

- Portaels F, Meyers WM,Ablordey A, Castro AG, Chemlal K, de Rijk P, Elsen P, Fissette K, Fraga AG, LeeR, Mahrous E, Small PL, Stragier P, Torrado E, Van Aerde A, Silva MT, PedrosaJ. First Cultivation and Characterization of Mycobacterium ulcerans from the Environment. 2008. PLoS Negl Trop Dis 26;2(3):e178.

- Torrado E, Fraga AG, Castro AG, Stragier P, Meyers WM, Portaels F, Silva MT, Pedrosa J. Evidence for an Intramacrophagic Growth Phase of Mycobacterium ulcerans. 2007. Infect Immun.75(2):977-87.

- Cruz A, Khader SA, Torrado E, Fraga A, Pearl JE, Pedrosa J, Cooper AM, Castro AG. Cutting edge: IFN-gamma regulates the induction and expansion of IL-17-producing CD4 T cells during mycobacterial infection. 2006. J Immunol. 1;177(3):1416-20.

- *Oliveira MS, *Fraga AG,Torrado E, Castro AG, Pereira JP, Filho AL, Milanezi F, Schmitt FC, Meyers WM,Portaels F, Silva MT, Pedrosa J. Infection by Mycobacterium ulcerans inducespersistent inflammatory responses in mice. 2005. Infect Immun. 733: 6299-6310.*share co-authorship


4- In the past 5 years, AlexandraFraga has participated in 5 research projects funded by national andinternational agencies, of which one is as principal coordinator.

- lmmunogenetic determinants of susceptibility/resistance to Buruli ulcer: a family- and population-basedstudy for a neglected tropical disease. FCT, 2018 - 2021; POCI-01-0145-FEDER-031312

- Transcriptome Analysis of Animal Models of Spontaneous Healing of Buruli Ulcer. Infect-Era, 2016-2019;INFECT-ERA, BU_SPONT_HEAL

- SynPhage: Construction of synthetic phages to combat infectious bacterial diseases. FCT, 2016-2019;PTDC/BBB-BSS/6471/2014

- Development of a novelcolour-coded RING FISH method: an innovative tool for the detection of antibiotic resistant clinical pathogens. FCT, 2016-2019; PTDC/DTP-PIC/4562/2014

- BURULIVAC: identification and development of a vaccine against Buruli Ulcer. Seventh Framework Programme.2010-2014; Grant agreement no.: 241500






Host pathogen interactions in Mycobacterium ulcerans infection - Buruli Ulcer  

Nanomedicine/drug delivery systems to treat mycobacteriosis  

Selected Publications

Cruz A, Fraga AG, Fountain JJ, Rangel-Moreno J, Torrado E, Saraiva M, Pereira DR, Randall TD, Pedrosa J, Cooper AM, Castro AG. Pathological role of interleukin 17 in mice subjected to repeated BCG vaccination after infection with Mycobacterium tuberculosis. J Exp Med. 2010 Aug 2;207(8):1609-16. doi: 10.1084/jem.20100265. Epub 2010 Jul 12.

Torrado E, Fraga AG, Logarinho E, Martins TG, Carmona JA, Gama JB, Carvalho MA, Proença F, Castro AG, Pedrosa J. IFN-gamma-dependent activation of macrophages during experimental infections by Mycobacterium ulcerans is impaired by the toxin mycolactone. J Immunol. 2010 Jan 15;184(2):947-55. doi: 10.4049/jimmunol.0902717. Epub 2009 Dec 11.

Kibadi K, Boelaert M, Fraga AG, Kayinua M, Longatto-Filho A, Minuku JB, Mputu-Yamba JB, Muyembe-Tamfum JJ, Pedrosa J, Roux JJ, Meyers WM, Portaels F. Response to treatment in a prospective cohort of patients with large ulcerated lesions suspected to be Buruli Ulcer (Mycobacterium ulcerans disease). PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2010 Jul 6;4(7):e736. doi: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0000736.

Gama JB, Ohlmeier S, Martins TG, Fraga AG, Sampaio-Marques B, Carvalho MA, Proença F, Silva MT, Pedrosa J, Ludovico P. Proteomic analysis of the action of the Mycobacterium ulcerans toxin mycolactone: targeting host cells cytoskeleton and collagen. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 8(8): e3066. doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0003066

Capela C, Sopoh GE, Houezo JG, Fiodessihoué R, Dossou AD, Costa P, Fraga AG, Menino JF, Silva-Gomes R, Ouendo EM, Rodrigues F, Pedrosa J. "Clinical epidemiology of Buruli ulcer from Benin (2005-2013): effect of time-delay to diagnosis on clinical forms and severe phenotypes". PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2015 Sep 10;9(9):e0004005.

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