Contacts Centre for Environmental Biology


PhD, researcher and invited academics

CBA research group(s):

Animal Diversity & Conservation

Personal webpage

Team webpage

Mónica Vieira Cunha

Main Research Interests

  • Infectious Disease Ecology and Landscape Epidemiology: Current emphasis is on generalist pathogens, multi-host systems and the influence of host ecology, host community diversity and landscape features on pathogen transmission dynamics.
  • Exploration of interdisciplinary scientific approaches (bridging theoretical epidemiology, microbial genomics, molecular biology, ecology, and statistical inference tools) to unravel animal infection biology and to devise new interventions for the sustainment of ecosystem services and the reduction of societal costs of infectious diseases.


Academic Qualifications

2004. PhD in Biotechnology (Molecular Microbiology), Instituto Superior Técnico (IST), Universidade Técnica de Lisboa (UTL), Portugal.
2000. MSc in Biotechnology (Biochemical Engineering), IST-UTL.
1996. Graduation in Chemical Engineering, Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Portugal.

Relevant Publications:

Botelho A., Perdigão J., Canto A., Albuquerque T., Leal N., Macedo R.,  Portugal I. & Cunha M.V. 2014. Pre-multidrug resistant Mycobacterium tuberculosis Beijing strain associated to disseminated tuberculosis in a pet dog. Journal of Clinical Microbiology 52:354-356.

Costa P., Ferreira A.S., Amaro A., Albuquerque T., Botelho A., Couto I., Cunha M.V., Viveiros M. & Inácio J. 2013. Enhanced detection of tuberculous mycobacteria in animal tissues using a semi-nested probe-based real-time PCR. PLoS ONE 8(11):e81337.

Duarte M.D., Henriques A.M., Santos-Barros S., Fagulha T., Mendonça P., Carvalho P., Monteiro M., Fevereiro M., Basto M.P., Rosalino L.M., Barros T., Bandeira V., Fonseca C. & Cunha M.V. 2013. Snapshot of Viral Infections in Wild Carnivores Reveals Ubiquity of Parvovirus and Susceptibility of Egyptian Mongoose to Feline Panleukopenia Virus. PLoS ONE 8(3):e59399.

Carreira A.C., Clemente L., Rocha T., Tavares A., Geraldes M., Barahona M.J., Botelho A. & Cunha M.V.2012. Comparative Genotypic and Antimicrobial Susceptibility Analysis of Zoonotic Campylobacter species Isolated from Broilers on a Nationwide Survey, Portugal. Journal of Food Protection 75(12):2100-9.

Cunha M.V., Matos F., Canto A., Albuquerque T., Alberto J.R., Aranha J.M., Vieira-Pinto M., Botelho A. 2012. Implications and Challenges of Tuberculosis in Wildlife Ungulates in Portugal: a Molecular Epidemiology Perspective. Research in Veterinary Science 92(2):225-235.

Rodriguez-Campos S., Schürch A.C., Dale J., Lohan A. J., Cunha M.V., Botelho A., De Cruz K., Boschiroli M. L., Boniotti M. B., Pacciarini M., Garcia-Pelayo M. C., Romero B., de Juan L., Domínguez L., Gordon S.V., Van Soolingen D., Loftus B., Berg S., Hewinson G.R., Aranaz A. & Smith N.H. 2012. European 2 – a clonal complex of Mycobacterium bovis dominant in the Iberian Península. Infectio. Genetics and Evolution 12(4):866-872.

Cunha M.V., Monteiro M., Carvalho P., Mendonça P., Albuquerque T. & Botelho A. 2011. Multihost tuberculosis: Insights from the Portuguese control program. Veterinary Medicine International 2011:795165.

Vieira-Pinto M., Alberto J., Aranha J., Serejo J., Canto A., Cunha M.V., Botelho A. 2011. Combined evaluation of Bovine Tuberculosis in wild boar (Sus scrofa) and red deer (Cervus elaphus) from Central-East Portugal. European Journal of Wildlife Research 57(6):1189-1201.

Matos F., Cunha M.V., Canto A., Albuquerque T., Amado A. & Botelho A. 2010. Snapshot of Mycobacterium bovis and Mycobacterium caprae infections in livestock in an area with a low incidence of bovine tuberculosis. Journal of Clinical Microbiology 48:4337-4339.

Duarte E.L., Domingos M., Amado A., Cunha M.V. & Botelho A. 2010. MIRU-VNTR typing adds discriminatory value to groups of Mycobacterium bovis and Mycobacterium caprae strains defined by spoligotyping. Veterinary Microbiology 143:299-306.

Leitão J.H., Sousa S.A., Cunha M.V., Barreto C., Salgado M.J., Melo-Cristino J. & Sá-Correia I. 2008. Variation of the antimicrobial susceptibility profiles of Burkholderia cepacia complex clonal isolates obtained from chronically infected cystic fibrosis patients: a five-year survey in the major Portuguese treatment center. European Journal of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases 27(11):1101-1111.

Correia S., Nascimento C., Pereira L., Cunha M.V., Sá-Correia I., & Barreto C. 2008. The clinical course of Burkholderia cepacia complex bacteria respiratory infection in cystic fibrosis patients.  Revista Portuguesa de Pneumologia 14 (1):5-26.

Cunha M.V., Pinto-de-Oliveira A.,Meirinhos-Soares L., Salgado M.J., Melo-Cristino J., Correia S., Barreto C., & Sá-Correia I. 2007. Exceptionally high representation of Burkholderia cepacia among the B. cepacia complex isolates recovered from the major Portuguese Cystic Fibrosis Center. Journal of Clinical Microbiology 45:1628-1633.

Ongoing Projects:

  • 2012-2015, “MyPATH-“Insights into Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex PATHogenesis: assessing the benefit of confinement- induced biofilm strategies by comparative genomics”, PTDC/CVT/117794/2010, Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (Principal Investigator).
  • 2010-2014, AWARE- “Sanitary EvAluation of Wild cArnivoREs as a conservation tool for endangered species”, joint funding from INIAV, CESAM and CBA (Principal Investigator).
  • 2013-2015, “IB-BIOALERTNET (Iberian network of laboratories of biological alert. Accreditation of methods for detection of highly pathogenic agents”; Ref. SAFI-1132/13-8-TS; EU funding: CIPSISEC2012 (team member).
  • 2011-2014, "ZoonTB: Improved NAT-based approaches to detect and discriminate animal-associated Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex members and evaluation of the zoonotic potential of these species in Portugal", PTDC/CVT/111634/2009, Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (team member).


Other Information:

  • Academic Editor of PLOS ONE