Day 2 :
National Institute of Health, Portugal
Time : 09:00-09:30
Maria Paula Ramalho Bajanca-Lavado has completed her PhD in Biomedical Science, specialty Microbiology and is responsible for the Haemophilus influenzae Reference Laboratory, Department of Infectious Diseases, National Institute of Health in Lisbon, Portugal. She has published several scientific publications in peer-review journals, along with other scientific productions, including invited lectures, oral communications and posters presented in international conferences. Her research is focused at H. influenzae infections, in different clinical and epidemiological aspects.
Haemophilus influenzae remains a key etiological agent of upper and lower respiratory tract infections. Two major mechanisms are involved in ampicillin (AMP) resistance: β-lactam hydrolysis due to β-lactamase production (TEM-1 or ROB-1) and decreased affinity of penicillin-binding protein 3 (PBP3) for β-lactam antibiotics as a result of ftsI gene mutations encoding PBP3. Isolates exhibiting this latter resistant mechanism are termed β-lactamase-non-producing ampicillin-resistant (BLNAR), while isolates with both resistant mechanisms are defined as β-lactamase-positive amoxicillin-clavulanic acid-resistant (BLPACR). A variety of amino acid (AA) substitutions within the transpeptidase domain of PBP3 are mainly responsible for resistance. According to specific substitutions, these isolates have been classified in one of three mutational groups: I-III. Group II was further divided into subgroups IIa-IId. More recently, a new group was described, “III-like” with additionally AA substitutions to the ones described in group III. Decreased ampicillin susceptibility have been associated to group I and II, while group III is normally associated with high resistance levels to ampicillin. Isolates with the non-enzymatic resistance mechanisms have been described and emerging worldwide. In this context, we aimed to characterize ampicillin resistance mechanisms in clinical H. influenzae strains isolated in Portugal. Amplification and sequencing of ftsI gene was performed in 568 clinical H. influenza isolates. Analysis of mutations characterized 61% of isolates as gBLNAR or gBLPACR. Most of the strains were included in group II (85%) with predominance of IIb (61%). Rare isolates were of group I and no isolate was classified in group III, although few strains were of group III-like. Our results are indicative of wide dissemination of a non-enzymatic resistance mechanism to β-lactams among H. influenzae isolates circulating in our country, probably due to inappropriate use of oral antibiotics, which is a matter of concern. A better understanding of this issue may help to establish adequate therapeutic and preventive measures to avoid selection or dissemination of such strains.
Dutch Armed Forces/Royal Dutch Navy, Netherlands
Time : 09:30-10:00
Stef Stienstra is a strategic and creative Consultant in Biomedical Science with a parallel career as a Commander of the Reserve of the Royal Dutch Navy. For the Dutch Armed Forces he has responsibility for the counter measures in CBNRe threats and (medical) consequence management both in a military and a civilian (terrorism) setting. In his civil career he works internationally as a Consultant or as Scientific Supervisory Board Member for several medical and biotech companies, merely involved in biodefense. He is also a Visiting Professor for Punjab University in Pakistan and Rhein-Waal University in Germany. He has completed his studies in Medicine and in Biochemistry at the University of Groningen in Netherlands and has extensive practical experience in cell biology, immuno-hematology, biodefense and transfusion medicine.
Public health systems are not always prepared for huge outbreaks of infectious diseases. Although in past several public health institutes were prominent surveyors of infectious diseases and very active in the mitigation of infectious diseases both in and outside their country of origin, like the French Institute Pasteur, Dutch Tropeninstituut and many others Institutes, the investments in worldwide public health was in the last decennia far less compared to curative healthcare. With the recent Ebola Virus Disease outbreak in West Africa we see now a new wave of growing interest in investing in Worldwide Public Health to prevent spreading of highly contagious disease outbreaks. Zoonotic diseases are the most dangerous for outbreaks as the population does not have natural nor artificial (from vaccination) immune response to new emerging diseases. The Ebola Virus Disease outbreak in 2014 in West Africa is such an example. As the new strain of the Ebola Virus in West Africa has a longer incubation time and is only slightly less lethal compared other Ebola Virus strains, the threat of spreading among the population is far bigger. Especially when the epidemic enters denser populated areas. The mitigation of a highly infectious and deadly disease outbreak has several aspects for which most public health systems in the world are not trained well enough. NGO’s helping to fight the outbreak are often also better trained in curative treatments and have less experience with biological (bioweapon) threats for which the military are trained for. The UNMEER mission is unique in this. It is a setting in which military and civilian actors cooperate in fighting a biological threat. Protection is essential for health workers and smart systems have to be developed to prevent further spreading of the disease. But it is unfortunately not only the biosafety, which has to be considered, but also the biosecurity, as misuse of extremely dangerous strains of microorganisms cannot be excluded. Several zoonotic infectious diseases, like anthrax, small pox and also the hemorrhagic fevers like Ebola Virus Disease are listed as potential bioweapons. With this extra threat in mind both biosafety and biosecurity has to be implemented in all measures to fight outbreaks of highly infectious diseases, as we are now doing in West Africa. Several international and national organizations invest now in improving public healthcare in Africa to mitigate the global threat of the spreading of infectious diseases by the increasing international travel.
Kirikkale University, Turkey
Keynote: Listeria monocytogenes risk in poultry meat and usage of bacteriophages as a biocontrol agent
Time : 10:00-10:30
Naim Deniz Ayaz is an Associate Professor of the Department of Food Hygiene and Technology at Kirikkale University, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine. He has received his PhD in Food Hygiene and Technology from the Ankara University in 2008. He is the Vice Dean and Executive Board Member of Kirikkale University, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine; an Expert of the Biosafety Clearing-House Mechanism of Turkey; a Research and Advisory Board Member of the National Red Meat Council and an Editorial Board Member of several scientific journals. His main research interests are food microbiology, characterization of food-borne pathogens, bacteriophages, biocontrol of pathogens and bacterial antibiotic resistance.
Poultry are playing a significant role in human food-borne infections because they are frequent vehicles of some human pathogens. In order not to take hygienic precautions, contaminations with pathogenic microorganisms such as Listeria may be occurred and consumption of such poultry meat and meat products can cause food-borne illnesses. L. monoctogenes is a zoonotic food-borne bacteria that leads to a variety of serious infections in humans such as encephalitis, meningitis, abortion and septicemia and those suffering with listeriosis occurs in approximately 30% mortality. Epidemiologic studies have revealed that a significant proportion of cases of listeriosis caused by contaminated foods. Consumption of poultry meat is increasing in the world. Related with the production technology, cross contamination risk is very high during processing, so it is important to control L. monocytogenes in poultry meat. Rapidly growing bacterial resistance to antibiotics and need for development of alternative methods, increasing interest in using bacteriophages in treatment or as biocontrol agents in foods nowadays. Bacteriophages can be applied to living tissues without causing any harm due to their highly selective toxicity. This is the most important advantage when they compared with antibiotics and antiseptics. The use of specific virulent bacteriophages for L. monocytogenes in order to reduce L. monocytogenes load in foods before, during and after slaughter processes emerges as an another method. It is reported that the usage of specific virulent bacteriophages to L. monocytogenes as a biocontrol agent of L. monocytogenes in foods, do not cause any side effects in humans.
King Fahad Medical City, KSA
Time : 10:30-11:00
Aziz Alami Chentoufi is a Consultant and Head of Immunology/Serology/HLA section at Pathology and Clinical Laboratory Medicine, King Fahad Medical City (KFMC). He is also an Assistant Professor of Immunology at Faculty of Medicine, King Saud Ibn AbdulAziz University. He is the Chairperson of Research Committee of PCLMA-KFMC. He is the Diplomate of the American Board of Medical laboratory Immunology D(ABMLI ), Fellow of the Association of Clinical Sciences (FACSc), accredited by the European Society of Translational Medicine (PCTM) and Fellow of the Academy of translational Medicine (FacadTM). He received his Ph.D. in Biomedical Sciences (Tolerance induction to xenogenic and allogenic antigens using monoclonal antibody anti-igM and anti-IgD) from the University Catholic of Louvain, Brussels, Belgium in 1999. He has done postdoctoral fellowship at McGill University, Montreal, Canada from 1999 to 2004 where he worked on immunogenetic of type 1 Diabetes and gene therapy for graft versus host disease then he was appointed as specialist at the University of California Irvine-Medical Center, Irvine, California, USA in 2006 where he was a key investigator in the development of mucosal vaccine against herpes simplex virus type 1 and 2. He is an independent Immunologist with a national and international reputation in vaccine development against both infectious and autoimmune diseases. He is well-integrated into the scientific community within the United States as well as Europe and Saudi Arabia and he is actively involved in a number of professional societies including American Society of Histocompatibility and Immunogenetic (ASHI), Association of Clinical Scientist, Canadian Society of Immunology and The Federation of Clinical Immunology Societies (FOCIS). He is PI and Co-PI in a number of research grant proposals and associate editor in many scientific journals and has more than 50 publications in high impact factor journals.
Herpes simplex virus type 1 and type 2 (HSV-1 and HSV-2) infections would be controlled by the development of an effective vaccine. However, in spite of several clinical trials, starting as early as 1920s, no vaccine has been proven sufficiently safe and efficient to warrant commercial development. Recently, great advances in cellular and molecular immunology understanding have stimulated creative approaches in controlling herpes infections and diseases. Before moving towards novel vaccine strategy, it is required to answer the important questions: Why past herpes vaccines were unsuccessful? Why the majority of HSV seropositive individuals naturally control HSV infections and exhibit few or no recurrent herpetic disease, while few others have frequent herpes clinical episodes? We recently discovered that HSV-1 symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals develop distinct immunity to viral epitopes recognized by CD4+ and CD8+ T cells. These epitopes (protective vs. pathologic) have provided a solid foundation for the development of novel herpes epitope based vaccine strategy. In this presentation, I will provide an overview of past clinical vaccine trials and outline current progress towards developing a new generation “asymptomatic” clinical herpes vaccines and discuss future mucosal “asymptomatic” prime boost vaccines that could optimize the protective immunity.