Scientific Program

Day 1

KEYNOTE SPEAKERS
  • DETECTION OF TYLCV ON CUCUMBER CROPS IN KUWAITI FARM

    Kuwait Institute for scientific research
    Kuwait
    Biography

    Ebtesam Al-Ali obtained her BSC in 1993 from Kuwait University Worked for Kuwait University as Research Assistant, then joined KISR on October 5, 1993 and led six projects; she has published more than 25 papers in reputed journals and international conferences. Her field of experience, in plant virus detection, primer design, cloning and sequencing, ELISA, DNA Extraction, PCR Amplification, RCA Rolling Circle Amplification, TYLCV detection on tomatoes, also trained twice in the University of Wisconsin Madison under the supervision of Prof. Amy Charkowski. As well as University of Washington state under supervision of Pro.Hanu Pappu.

    Abstract

    High scores of vegetable crop losses were recorded in Kuwait agricultural farms, viral diseases were the main causal agent of these economic losses in many crops, mainly in tomato and recently recorded in cucumber. Tomato yellow leaf curl virus (TYLCV) was reported as a major pest of tomato and cucumber but it was not characterized at the molecular level. The whitefly was the main transmitter of TYLCV. Common symptoms on cucumber plants infected with TYLCV were: Leaf and fruit deformation, mosaicing, yellowing, upward leaf cupping, and stunting. Two hundred samples of cucumber leaves were collected, and the symptoms resulting from viral diseases were recorded and documented. DNA was extracted from 300 infected cucumber leaf samples, and PCR detection was performed on 150 samples using two different primer pairs (TY1 and TY2 and TYC1R and TYC1F). PCR tests revealed that 80 samples out of 150 tested samples were positive. Best results were performed by TY1 and TY2 primer pair. Positive samples were stored for further analysis.

Clinical Microbiology | Pharmaceutical Microbiology | Industrial Microbiology | Food Microbiology
Chair
Speaker
  • Capsular heptose synthesis pathway of Campylobacter jejuni as a new target to prevent campylobacteriosis
    Speaker
    Carole Creuzenet,
    The University of Western Ontario
    Canada
    Biography

    Carole Creuzenet has completed her PhD in Biochemistry at the University of Nantes and the National Institute for Agronomical Research (France) and her postdoctoral studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (USA) and the University of Guelph (Canada). She is Associate Professor at the University of Western Ontario (London, Canada), where her lab focuses on virulence factors from bacterial gastrointestinal pathogens such as Campylobacter jejuni, Helicobacter pylori and Yersinia pseudotuberculosis. Her focus is on glycolipids and glycoproteins as well as on novel secreted proteins and their folding partners. She has published 38 papers in reputed journals with h-index of 19.

    Abstract

    H. pylori causes gastritis, gastric ulcers and cancers but the mechanisms of virulence are not fully understood. It produces secreted proteins which may play a role in eliciting gastric inflammation, including the Helicobacter cysteine rich protein HcpE (HP0235) whose biological function is unknown. Our goal was to investigate if HcpE is secreted by H. pylori and is involved in host/pathogen interactions and identify components essential for its production. Using a combination of anti-HcpE ELISA and Western blots, knockout mutagenesis, phenotypic analyses and biochemical assays, we demonstrate that HcpE is secreted by many strains as a soluble protein and in association with outer membrane vesicles. We show that infected patients produce anti-HcpE antibodies, indicating in situ HcpE production. We show that HcpE comprises many disulfide bonds and identify DsbK (HP0231) as a folding factor necessary for HcpE production, and show that recombinant DsbK can refold unprocessed, reduced HcpE in vitro. This highlights the first biologically relevant substrate for DsbK. Furthermore, we show that DsbK has DiSulfide Bond (Dsb) forming activity and has DsbA-like activity despite its similarity with DsbG. Also, we show a role of DsbK in redox homeostasis in H. pylori. Finally, we show an important role for DsbK and HcpE in host-pathogen interactions, including murine gastric colonization and pro-inflammatory cytokine production in human gastric explants, gastric cell lines and in murine splenocytes. Both proteins will be investigated as therapeutic targets to treat H. pylori infections and prevent gastric ulcers and cancers.

  • POSSIBLE STRATEGIES TO OVERCOME DRUG RESISTANCE IN BIOFILM
    Speaker
    Claudia Vuotto
    "Instituto de Assistência Médica ao Servidor Público Estadual" (IAMSPE)
    Brazil
    Biography

    Claudia Vuotto is currently working in the Microbial Bioflim Laboratory and she is also an associate with Fondazione Santa Lucia IRCCS.

    Abstract

    Biofilm-growing nosocomial pathogens represent a serious public health concern. In fact, the biofilm mode of growth is highly relevant in clinical settings where these microbial communities, displaying higher levels of antimicrobial resistance, cause several difficult-to-treat chronic infections. The reduced effectiveness of many antibiotics against bacteria grown as biofilm is due to the presence of the exopolysaccharide matrix, the reduced growth rate of microbial cells and the significant increase in the level of horizontal gene transfer. The relapsing nature of biofilm-related infections makes increasingly necessary to discover new antimicrobial agents able to interfere with biofilm formation and maturation, without inducing antibiotic resistance. This presentation will focus on biofilm resistance in aerobic and anaerobic species, underlining their response to antibiotics in terms of matrix production and induction of a viable but non-culturable state. Refractory medical devices and not-inducing resistance, antibacterial compounds will be presented as possible anti-biofilm strategies.

  • THE EFFECT OF POMEGRANATE EXTRACT ON SURVIVAL AND PERITONEAL BACTERIAL LOAD IN CECAL LIGATION AND PERFORATION MODEL OF SEPSIS RAT
    Speaker
    Shahryar Eghtesadi
    Islamic Azad University
    Iran
    Biography

    Sepsis is one of the major causes of death in intensive care units. Oxidative stress and hyper-inflammation has been shown to be major cause of mortality and morbidity in septic cases. Pomegranate is a fruit which is considered for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of POMx, a standard pomegranate extract, on mortality and peritoneal bacterial load in cecal ligation and perforation (CLP) model of sepsis in rats. Male Wistar rats were divided into four groups: sham; CLP; prevention [consumed POMx (250 mg of polyphenols/kg/day) for four weeks and subjected to CLP]; treatment [subjected to CLP and then received a single drink of POMx (250 mg of polyphenols/kg)]. Sepsis was induced by CLP surgery. 10 days survival rate of all groups (subdivided into with and without antibiotics subgroups) were recorded. Peritoneal bacterial load of animal was also assessed. Data were analysed using log-rank and Kruskal-Wallis tests. There were no significant differences in survival rates of CLP, prevention and treatment groups, in subgroups without antibiotics. However, in subgroups with antibiotics, the prevention group had significantly lower survival rate than sham group (p<0.05). Conversely, the bacterial load of prevention and treatment group were significantly higher than sham group (p<0.01). In conclusion, our study demonstrated that pomegranate extract could increase mortality rate via increasing peritoneal cavity bacterial load, in CLP model of sepsis. More studies to assess mechanisms of this effect are warranted.

    Abstract

    Sepsis is one of the major causes of death in intensive care units. Oxidative stress and hyper-inflammation has been shown to be major cause of mortality and morbidity in septic cases. Pomegranate is a fruit which is considered for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of POMx, a standard pomegranate extract, on mortality and peritoneal bacterial load in cecal ligation and perforation (CLP) model of sepsis in rats. Male Wistar rats were divided into four groups: sham; CLP; prevention [consumed POMx (250 mg of polyphenols/kg/day) for four weeks and subjected to CLP]; treatment [subjected to CLP and then received a single drink of POMx (250 mg of polyphenols/kg)]. Sepsis was induced by CLP surgery. 10 days survival rate of all groups (subdivided into with and without antibiotics subgroups) were recorded. Peritoneal bacterial load of animal was also assessed. Data were analysed using log-rank and Kruskal-Wallis tests. There were no significant differences in survival rates of CLP, prevention and treatment groups, in subgroups without antibiotics. However, in subgroups with antibiotics, the prevention group had significantly lower survival rate than sham group (p<0.05). Conversely, the bacterial load of prevention and treatment group were significantly higher than sham group (p<0.01). In conclusion, our study demonstrated that pomegranate extract could increase mortality rate via increasing peritoneal cavity bacterial load, in CLP model of sepsis. More studies to assess mechanisms of this effect are warranted.

Day 2

KEYNOTE SPEAKERS
  • WHAT DO LEBANESE WOMEN KNOW ABOUT CERVICAL CANCER AND HUMAN PAPILLOMAVIRUS? A REPORT ON AWARENESS LEVELS IN URBAN COMMUNITIES

    Saint Joseph University
    Lebanon
    Biography

    Jacques Choucair is an Infectious Diseases Specialist in Hotel Dieu de France teaching hospital in Beyrouth. He has obtained his MD degree in 1994 from the Saint-Joseph University, Faculty of Medicine in Beyrouth. He has completed a two years fellowship from 1998-2000 at Bichat Claude Bernard Hospital and Bacteriology at Broussais Hospital affiliated to University of Paris V. He has received his diploma in Infectious Diseases (1999), Saint-Joseph University, Beyrouth. Since 2001, he is a Practitioner and ID Consultant in the Infectious Diseases Department at Hotel Dieu de France de Beyrouth Teaching Hospital. He also has completed Medical Teaching Diploma from the University of Montreal in Canada in 2003. He has published more than 30 articles and is a Reviewer in national and international journals. His main topics of interest are bacterial resistance and the proper use of antibiotics.

    Abstract

    To evaluate the knowledge of Lebanese women about cervical cancer’s symptoms and risk factors and human papillomavirus (HPV) infection. To measure the uptake of the cervical cancer screening test (Pap smear) and that of HPV vaccination. Methods: 444 women residing in Beirut and Mount-Lebanon, with no medical background, filled out a 32 item questionnaire about cervical cancer and HPV. Collected data was exported to and analyzed in SPSS® v. 21.0. Results: Most participants were young (45.7% aged 18 to 25), residing in Mount-Lebanon (51.8%), Christian (50.7%), single (49.3%), with high education qualifications (73.9%) and currently employed (49.1%) in a field not related to health (84.9%). 64.6% did not visit a general physician nor a gynecologist regularly. 85.6% were aware of cervical cancer. 53.9% correctly identified HPV infection involvement in the pathogenesis of cervical cancer. 35.6% were aware of HPV infection but 80.4% believed their information was lacking. 37.6% of participants had been screened by Pap smear for cervical cancer at least once in their lives whereas 9% did not know what a Pap smear was. Screening was significantly associated with cervical cancer awareness and regular visits to general health physicians and gynecologists. 11.7% of participants aged 18 to 35 were vaccinated against HPV. Vaccination uptake was significantly associated with cervical cancer awareness, religion, field of work and studies, and regular visits to gynecologists. Conclusion: Urban Lebanese women are not well informed about cervical cancer and HPV. Screening by Pap smear and HPV vaccination uptakes are non-satisfactory.

Geriatric Cardiology | General Microbiology | Oral Microbiology
Chair
Speaker
  • GENETIC VARIABILITY OF PEPTIDYL ARGININE DEIMINASE FROM PORPHYROMONAS GINGIVALIS IN PERIODONTITIS PATIENTS
    Speaker
    Grzegorz Bereta
    Jagiellonian University
    Poland
    Biography

    Grzegorz Bereta has completed his MSc in Molecular Biotechnology at Faculty of Biochemistry, Biophysics and Biotechnology, Jagiellonian University, Krakow, Poland and since then he is enrolled on PhD studies at the same faculty. He has authored two publications and two conference reports as well as one book chapter.

    Abstract

    Introduction & Objective: Periodontitis is a widespread chronic inflammatory disease. Untreated condition leads to progressive destruction of the periodontal tissue and may result in tooth loss. Changes in oral microbiome leading to periodontitis are mainly driven by Porphyromonas gingivalis, the pathogen producing numerous virulence factors, including peptidylarginine deiminase (PPAD). PPAD modifies C-terminal arginine to citrulline, causing changes in structure and function of modified proteins, contributing to development periodontitis. The aim of this study was to investigate variability of PPAD in clinical isolates of P. gingivalis. Materials & Methods: Together 23 P. gingivalis strains were isolated from patients with periodontitis and the PPAD gene was sequenced and analyzed together with sequences extracted from the GenBank database. Identified differences in the sequence were introduced into PPAD in reference strain ATCC 33277 and expression (mRNA) and PPAD activity were measured in cultures of the mutant. PPAD variants were expressed in P. gingivalis, purified and used to compare their enzymatic properties. Clinical parameters of periodontitis severity in patients infected with different P. gingivalis strains were determined. Results: A new form of PPAD with three amino acid substitutions (G231N, E232T, N235D) near the active site was found in approximately 30% of P. gingivalis strains. Introduction of those mutations into the PPAD sequence in the ATCC 33277 strain resulted in two-fold increase of PPAD activity in culture, without effect on the level of mRNA expression. Kinetic assessment of the enzymatic reaction revealed that the mutated form of PPAD had higher maximum reaction rate (Vmax). Patients infected with P. gingivalis strains with the super active PPAD variant had more advanced damage of periodontal tissues. Conclusion: The newly identified form of PPAD shows higher enzymatic activity and its presence in strains of P. gingivalis in periodontitis patients correlated with severity of the disease

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