Day 2 :
University of Ulster, UK
Time : 09:00-09:40
Ibrahim M Banat is a Professor of Microbial Biotechnology at the University of Ulster, UK, having more than 30 years’ experience in academic and research institutions in Europe and abroad and has several active collaborative projects within the EU and other international academic and industrial establishments. His research interests include biosurfactant and bio-actives production and potential utilization in environmental oil pollution control and hydrocarbon polluted land bioremediation and microbial enhanced oil recovery. He is concentrating on investigating biomedical, pharmaceutical, health and cosmetics related applications of biosurfactants. He also has interest and worked on molecular and cell biology of thermophilic geobacilli bacteria and bioethanol fermentation and the molecular biology of biosurfactant producers.
The search for eco-friendly compounds supported by the drive for sustainable industrial practices has pushed biosurfactants research and investigations to a prominent position on the agenda of many industrial establishments. This is because they offer the opportunity to replace many undesirable chemical surfactants mostly produced from non-renewable resources with alternatives produced from cheap renewable bio-based feed stocks. Biosurfactants also mostly offers robust performances for many industrial applications while being less damaging to the environment. The most promising biosurfactants at the present time are the glycolipids including sophorolipids produced by members of the Candida yeasts, rhamnolipids produced by Pseudomonas bacteria and mannosylerythritol lipids (MELs) produced by Pseudozyma yeasts. Some successful application have been reported mainly related to environmental, petroleum and oil industries uses, however increased attention has recently focused on pharmaceutical, cosmetic and medical related potentials and uses. Despite the current enthusiasm for these compounds several residual problems remain. The ability to accurately detect and quantify the various congeners of biosurfactants typically produced by the wild strains and to efficiently separate and purify them is paramount. In addition successful tailoring of the biosurfactant produced to the specific needs of the product formulation through molecular biology techniques will be an important future phase in this research. In this presentation we aim to highlight the latest trends and indicative prospects for future commercial exploitations and the latest interest and direction for potential applications for microbial biosurfactants.
Humboldt University of Berlin, Germany
Time : 09:40 - 10:20
Natalia Tschowri has studied Biology at the Freie Universität Berlin, where she also obtained her PhD under the supervision of Professor Dr. Regine Hengge with a thesis on blue light signaling in the control of biofilm formation in Escherichia coli. In September 2012 she has joined Professor Mark Buttner’s Lab at the John Innes Centre in Norwich, UK as a Post Doctorate funded by the EMBO long-term fellowship and began to work on c-di-GMP signaling in Streptomyces. Back in Berlin in October 2013 she continued with her studies on the role of c-di-nucleotides in Streptomyces development and is presently an independent Group Leader at the Humboldt-Universitätzu Berlin.
The multi-talented bacteria Streptomyces have been awarded the Nobel Prize twice (1952 and 2015) for their exceptional ability to produce diverse medically-useful natural products. The synthesis of these secondary metabolites is genetically and temporally tightly interlinked with the developmental life cycle of Streptomycetes. Facing the urgent need for new antibiotics it is of particular significance to understand the signals and pathways that control development in these bacteria. In our recent study, we have shown that the bacterial second messenger cyclic di-GMP (cdi-GMP), which is produced by GGDEF-type diguanylate cyclases and degraded by EAL or HDGYP-type phosphodiesterases, determines the timing of differentiation initiation in S. venezuelae by regulating the activity of the highly conserved developmental master regulator BldD. Our structural and biochemical analyses revealed that a tetrameric form of c-di-GMP activates BldD DNA-binding by driving a unique form of protein dimerization, leading to repression of the BldD regulon of sporulation genes during vegetative growth. Currently, we aim to understand which of the 10 putative c-di-GMP-metabolizing enzymes encoded by S. venezuelae contribute to c-di-GMP pools sensed by BldD and how the BldD-c-di-GMP complex is assembled. Our initial data indicate that a distinct set of GGDEF/EAL proteins influences the developmental program progression in S. venezuelae and that loading of BldD with tetrameric c-di-GMP is a two-step process. Altogether, our work will greatly improve our understanding of Streptomyces physiology and c-di-GMP signaling in multicellular differentiation and secondary metabolite production and can contribute to a better exploitation of genetic engineering in Streptomyces for the production of antibiotics.
University of Cambridge, UK
Keynote: Use of isogenic tagged strains to study the impact of antimicrobials on the within-host dynamics of Salmonella bacterial infections
Time : 10:20- 11:00
Omar Rossi has received his BSc in Biology and MSc in Cellular and Molecular Biology at the University of Florence, Italy. He has completed his PhD in 2014 and Postdoctoral studies at Novartis Vaccines Institute for Global Health in Siena, Italy, working on vaccines’ development. From April 2015, he is working as a Research Associate at the Department of Veterinary Medicine of the University of Cambridge, UK, studying the impact of antimicrobials on the within-host dynamics of Salmonella infections in Dr. Pietro Mastroeni’s group. He has published more than 10 papers in reputed journals.
Antimicrobials do not always determine the rapid and complete resolution of acute infections, resulting in carrier states or in the relapse of infections upon cessation of the treatment. More effective treatments and eradication of infections will benefit from a better understanding of how bacterial growth dynamics are modified under antimicrobial pressure. We have studied in vivo the effects of two widely used classes of antimicrobials (the β-lactam ampicillin and the fluoroquinolone ciprofloxacin) on the early stages of treatment using wild-type (fast-growing), ∆aroC (slow-growing) and ∆sseB (reduced ability to spread from cell to cell) Isogenic Tagged Strains (ITS) of Salmonella. We have followed the dynamics of bacterial populations before, during and upon the cessation of antimicrobial treatment by combining total bacterial counts in the infected organs and numerical and spatial fluctuations of ITS sub-populations using a sequencing-based approach and a novel method for Bayesian bottle-neck analysis. We found that both antibiotics reduced (up to ~95%, with ciprofloxacin producing the highest reduction) bacterial loads of the wild type bacteria in spleen, liver and blood with a marked and constant drop during the first days of treatment followed by a phase of more moderate effect. Cessation of the treatment resulted in an immediate relapse of the infection. The antimicrobials had smaller effect on bacterial counts in mesenteric lymph nodes during treatment but a strong increase in bacterial numbers was still observed upon cessation of antibiotic therapy. Treatment of infections with the ΔaroC strain and ΔsseB strains showed a smaller but continuous reduction in bacterial counts in spleens and livers and in both infections cessation of the treatment resulted in a carrier state. The antimicrobials acted homogeneously on all the bacterial populations within various organs and at all the time-points. We have concluded that the efficacy of ampicillin or ciprofloxacin treatment is more pronounced in infections with fast-growing strains and more marked in the early stages of treatment. Antibiotic pressure does not select for ITS sub-population and chronic and relapsing infections do not appear to be caused by the persistence or amplification of selected subpopulations of Salmonella.
Iuliu Hatieganu University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Romania
Lia Monica Junie is the Head of the Department, coordinating also, the activities of both Laboratory Medicine specialty resident doctors and PhD doctor’s thesis in the medicine field. She unfolds a fruitful national and international scientific activity as an experienced Microbiologist, having an impressive CV. She is a Member in the Board of Scientific Societies, Reviewer in many peer-reviewed journals, Expert of the Ministry of Education and Research and Evaluator. She coordinated research projects, published books and more than 200 scientific articles in prestigious journals.
Background: The human Echinococcosis is still a serious problem for the public health in Romania, despite the measures taken for the prophylaxis of the disease. The surgery is no more a first choice treatment for human Echinococcosis.
Aim: The objective was to make an early diagnosis of hydatidosis by serologic methods in early phases of the hydatic cyst, which are not detected by imagistic examinations.
Material & Method: Were assessed 60 patients hospitalized in 2 surgical hospitals for surgical treatment. Ultrasonography, radiological examinations and established the diagnosis, which was confirmed during surgery.
Results: The diagnosis of hydatidosis was established in both surgical clinics by echography (78.3%), echography and clinic exam (16.7%), computerized tomography (CT) (1.7%), CT and echography (3.3%), only by CT (in one case), being confirmed during surgery. The Hydatidosis represents a major problem for the public wealth, being responsible for 200 hospitalizations and surgical interventions annually, representing 0.6% of the total number of surgical interventions annually. Hepatic (71.5%) and pulmonary (15.5%) locations are frequent, leading by their chronic evolution to pseudotumoral signs, severe complications (1.5%), reserved prognosis (9.5%), especially in adults (14%) and even to death.
Conclusions: The prophylaxis of hydatidosis is very important and has to be done by all meanings by the intensification of the mass popularization ways over the ways of contamination and the severe consequences of this disease named also “white cancer”. The implementation of some surveillance post-surgery protocols of persons that suffered of surgery, by serologic tests and also by imagistic tests, may be good for the quality of the medical action and for the patient. In this activity we should imply the family’s doctors, the services that make serologic and imagistic diagnosis and also the surgical and the internal medicine services.