Scientific Program

Day 1

KEYNOTE SPEAKERS
  • Panel approach for diagnosis of borreliosis (lyme disease and relapsing fever)

    President&CEO, IGeneX Inc
    USA
    Biography

    Jyotsna Shah has done her BSc and MSc in Biological Sciences in the UK and her PhD in diagnostic immunology from Nairobi University, Kenya. She then joined the International Laboratory for Research on Animal Diseases (ILRAD) as a post-doctoral scientist where she started the first DNA sequencing laboratory in East Africa. On completion of her fellowship, she joined Harvard University, Department of Tropical Medicine, as a research fellow and continued to work on the development of molecular tools for diagnosis of parasitic diseases. Presently she is the President and CEO of Igenex Inc., Palo Alto, CA, USA.

    Abstract

    Borreliosis is caused by two groups of Borrelia, B. burgdorferi group and the relapsing fever Borrelia group. Until recently it was believed that B. burgdorferi group is the only group that causes Lyme-like symptoms. However we now know that relapsing fever borrelia too causes Lyme-like symptoms. Symptoms caused by both these Borrelia groups are often confused with MS, Chronic fatigue, osteo-arthritis, and ALS. Therefore it is necessary to perform appropriate diagnostic tests to differentiate Borreliosis from other diseases. Thus we have developed highly sensitive and specific immunoblots to detect and differentiate the two groups of Borrelia. Based on our studies in US the specificity of the imunoblots is greater 92% for IgM and 100% for IgG. Using these immunoblots we have demonstrated that both B.burgdorferi and relapsing fever Borrelia are also present. This is based on a study performed on over 500 patients.

  • EFdA: An extremely excellent anti-HIV modified nucleoside, -from design to the current clinical trial results-

    Yokohama University of Pharmacy, Japan
    Japan
    Biography

    Hiroshi Ohrui received Ph. D. degree (1971) from The University of Tokyo. He Joined RIKEN (1966) and moved to Tohoku University (1981). He moved to Yokohama University of Pharmacy (2006). He worked for Dr. J. J. Fox at Sloan-Kettering Institute for Cancer Research (1972-1973) and for Dr. J. G. Moffatt at Syntex Research (1973-1974). He received several awards including Inoue Prize for Science (1991), Japan Prize for Agricultural Sciences (2004), The Japan Society for Analytical Chemistry Award (2004), and Japan Academy Prize (2001). His research interests cover Organic Synthesis, Chemical Biology, and Chiral Discrimination.

    Abstract

    4’-C-Ethynyl-2-fluoro-2’-deoxyadenosine (EFdA) has attracted much attention due to its extremely excellent anti-HIV activity, for example, EFdA prevents the emergence of resistant HIV mutants, and is over 400 times more active than AZT and several orders of magnitude more active than the other clinical reverse-transcriptase inhibitory 2’, 3’-dideoxy-nucleoside drugs, very low toxic, very long acting, very useful for the prevention of HIV-infection. EFdA is now under clinical investigation by Merck & Co. as MK-8591. In the beginning, a general idea for the development of anti-viral modified nucleosides will be presented, and then the development of EFdA will be discussed and the clinical results by Merck will be also presented. For the design of the modified nucleoside which could solve the problems that the clinical drugs have (emergence of drug-resistant HIV mutants, adverse effect by drugs, necessity to take quite a few amount of drugs), the following working hypotheses were proposed. They are: the way to prevent the emergence of drug-resistant HIV mutants, the way to decrease the toxicity of modified nucleosides, the way to provide the modified nucleoside with stability to both enzymatic and acidic glycolysis for long acting. 4’-C-substituted-2’-deoxynucleoside (4’SdN) was designed to meet the hypotheses (1), (3), and the additional modification of 4’SdN was performed to meet the hypothesis.The details of the hypotheses and the reasons for the design of 4’SdN will be discussed. To prevent the deamination of adenine base by adenosine deaminase, a fluorine atom was introduced at the 2-position of adenine. Finally, EFdA , modified at the two position (2 and 4’) of the physiologic 2’-deoxyadenosine and has extremely excellent anti-HIV activity, was successfully developed.

  • CD8+ Treg involvement in the pathogenesis of autoimmune, cancer and HIV infectious disease

    University of Genoa
    Italy
    Biography

    Gilberto Filaci is a PhD holder, is Vice-Director of the Centre of Excellence for Biomedical Research and full Professor of Laboratory Techniques for Medicine at the University of Genoa, Italy. He is author of more than 90 publications cited over 2500 times, and his publication H-index is 28.

    Abstract

    Treg constitute a complex network of T cell subtypes which regulate effector immune responses. Although CD4+ Treg are most known, in the recent years several CD8+ Treg subpopulations have been characterized. We identified the exact phenotype of one of these CD8+ Treg subsets (that is CD8+CD28-CD127-CD39+), allowing us to specifically recognize these cells in vivo and to study them ex vivo. Altered frequency or function of these CD8+ Treg appears to be pathogenically involved in autoimmune diseases. Moreover, these cells heavily infiltrate tumors and may circulate in the peripheral blood of cancer patients. These findings suggest their direct involvement also in the pathogenesis of cancer through the fostering of tumor immune escape. Recently, remarkable expansion of CD8+CD28-CD127loCD39+ Treg, whose frequency correlated with both clinical disease and signs of chronic immune cell activation, was observed in HIV patients.

Infectious Diseases
Co-Chair
HIV/Sexually Transmitted Diseases
Co-Chair
Speaker
  • Site attachment inhibition therapeutics: Dealing with association and causation issues
    Time: 13:30
    Speaker
    Simon Raymonds
    Alumnus Melbourne University
    Australia
    Biography

    Simon Raymond is a Consultant who specialised in Medical and Scientific Research and an Alumnus of Melbourne University (Rank of Number 1 in Australia and Number 33 in the World). He has worked as a Reviewer for the respected Medical Journal of Australia, has received invitations internationally to review from prestigious medical journals including Journal of American Medical Association network. He has received award in recognition of his research by Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (PSC, 2006) and invited to conferences internationally as an official Delegate and Researcher, including that in USA and China. He has worked as the Principle Researcher in the highest-powered form of medical trial—Randomised Controlled Trial (RCT). He is also a Member of the Golden Key International Society for honoured and outstanding academics and has been cited as a notable global leader.

    Abstract

    This talk highlights that site attachment inhibition (therapeutics involving the negation of cellular attachment, or entry/transfer, by the pathogen) is intended to consist of both: treatment of established infections; and, new generation immunization programs (preventative treatment). New generation immunization programs, based on prenatal stem cell therapy in the prenatal period and earlier spanning back to spermatogenesis and oogenesis, is intended to involve gene mutagenesis, and knockout. Validation for likely success includes inherited mutations mentioned in the references noted that provide resultant resistance (immunity) to the stated infections including HIV and Malaria. Association and causation issues need to be dealt with given that even the known CCR5 mutation has not been completely confirmed as direct/causative of the resultant resistance/immunity. A discussion with regards to prenatal and germline stem cell therapy, in addition to CRISPR, and CRISPR-Cas9, is presented in the below link to the US NIH library. It is not up to date with “site attachment inhibition” therapeutics, however it does provide a general discussion on the above stated topics broadly. In brief, using technologies including those above would allow comparison between cells in which entry of the pathogen is occurring to those in which entry of the pathogen is not occurring (or, not able to) and through analysis of the genetics of the human cellular biology used by the pathogen to gain cellular attachment (or, transfer and entry), the genes to be targeted in mutagenesis and knockout can be analysed. NB: The pathogen machinery also is to be analysed. In summary, this presentation presents new content with regards to site attachment inhibition therapeutics. Site attachment inhibition therapeutics is intended to be applicable to all infections broadly. The next conference presentations will cover issues surrounding antimicrobial resistance.

  • The role of B cells in diabetic cardiomyopathy
    Time: 14:00
    Speaker
    Khadija Rafiq
    Thomas Jefferson University
    USA
    Biography

    Khadija Rafiq has completed her PhD from Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium. She is assistant professor of Thomas Jefferson University, USA.

    Abstract

    Diabetic cardiomyopathy (DCM) is typified by alterations in cardiac morphology and function, independent of hypertension or coronary disease. The disease is characterized by intramyocardial inflammation, cardiomyocytes apoptosis and cardiac fibrosis. The molecular mechanism that links inflammation to DCM is incompletely understood. This study investigates the role of B cells on the development of DCM. Induction of diabetes in WT mice resulted a significant decrease in B cell infiltration into the left ventricular heart, but not in other organs, during the development of DCM. Interestingly, decreased B cell numbers correlate with the downregulation of the expression of a B cell inflammatory molecule, Allograft Inflammatory Factor-1 (AIF-1), which has been reported to enhance lymphocyte activation. However, the molecular mechanism(s) responsible for the decrease of B cell homing and AIF-1 expression in diabetic hearts as well as their relationship during the development of DCM is unknown. Focused on gaining insight into the role of AIF-1 in B cell migration, our in vitro study showed that B cell migration to cardiomyocytes is regulated by AIF-1 expression. We observed significant migration of B cells to hyperglycemic GFP-tagged AIF-1 transfected H9C2 cells compared to control cells transfected with an empty vector. Interestingly, Adenovirus AIF-1 overexpression promoted B cell homing to diabetic heart tissues, reduced inflammation and pathological remodeling. These effects of AIF-1 overexpression on the diabetes-induced cardiac dilatation and function are independent of AIF-1 effects on hyperglycemia since blood glucose levels are similar in diabetic WT mice with or without AIF-1 overexpression. This study suggests that diabetes attenuates AIF-1 expression, and this, in turn, prevents B cell homing to diabetic heart tissues which in trun results in an increase of cardiac inflammation that leads to DCM.

  • Analysis of the role of genetic polymorphisms of innate immune signaling factors in inflammatory disease
    Time: 14:30
    Speaker
    Kaarthikeyan G
    Saveetha Dental College
    India
    Biography

    Gurumoorthy Kaarthikeyan is working at Saveetha Dental College since 2007. He is currently holding the designation as Professor and Clinic Head (UG) of the Department of Periodontics. He is the Co-ordinator for implant approval committee and he is the Member of Scientific Review Board –Saveetha University. He has 37 publications in various international and indexed journals. He has delivered guest lectures at various national and international conferences. He is a Reviewer and Editorial Board Member in various journals.

    Abstract

    Periodontitis is a chronic inflammatory disease of multifactorial etiology. The gram negative anaerobes are the main etiological agents in causing periodontal destruction. The genetic risk factors plays a major role in determining the susceptibility to periodontal disease. The virulence factors of these anaerobes like lipopolysacharide (LPS) are screened by the pattern recognition receptors like Toll like receptors and innate immune signaling cascade is activated. This signaling cascade is regulated by many microRNAs like miR146a. This microRNA146a negatively regulates TLR4 pathway by blocking interleukin 1 receptor associated kinase (IRAK1), TNFreceptor associated factor (TRAF6). This miR146a is in turn regulated by apolipoprotein E(apoE). ApoE is a major cholesterol carrier and plays an important role in maintaining lipid homeostasis. ApoE selectively regulates TLR4- and TLR3-mediated signaling. The apoE may suppress the Th1 immune response by modulating IL-12 production. The inactive pro inflammatory cytokine IL-1beta secreted by this signaling cascade is activated by Nod like receptors called NLRP3 in cytoplasm. The genetic changes of these signaling and regulatory factors of innate immune system might determine the susceptibility to periodontal destruction. Thus the aim of this study was to determine the association of the genetic polymorphisms of miR146a, apoE and NLRP3 with periodontitis in south Indian population. The study was approved by the institutional ethics committee of Saveetha university (017/10/2013/IEC/SU). The study included three groups- chronic periodontitis group (n=81), aggressive periodontitis group (n=80) and healthy controls (n=167) After getting informed consent, five ml of venous blood was collected by veinpuncture. DNA extraction was done according to modified Millers et al technique. The gene polymorphisms of miR146a (rs2910164), NLRP3(rs10802501, rs10754558), apoE was analyzed using specific primers in real time PCR. Conclusion: Thus our study concludes that the allelic frequency of NLRP3(rs 10802501), miR146a (rs 2910164) and apoE polymorphisms were associated with periodontitis in south Indian population. The biological plausibility of this association has to be analysed with further studies.

  • A cluster-randomized controlled trial to decrease hand, foot and mouth diseases in chinese kindergartens: the clean hands, happy life program
    Time: 15:00
    Speaker
    Xiaona Liua
    Erasmus MC University Medical center Rotterdam
    Netherlands
    Biography

    Xiaona Liu is a Postdoc Researcher at the Department of Public Health, Erasmus University Medical Center in the Netherlands. She holds two research master degrees and one doctoral degree in Public Health and Infectious Disease Control. She is specialized in the development and evaluation of public health interventions for preventing diseases (both communicable and non-communicable), combing with strong interests in behavioral change techniques, health psychology, and implementing research findings into practice. Her work currently involves Dutch-China joint research on hand hygiene improvement, as well as evaluation of the implementation of preventive programs at different clinical wards of the Erasmus Hospital in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

    Abstract

    Objectives: To evaluate the effect of the clean hands, happy life intervention on the incidence of hand, food and mouth disease (HFMD) and on school absences due to sickness in kindergarten students. Methods: The intervention consisted of four hand hygiene (HH) promotion components and was evaluated in a cluster-randomized controlled trial among 8275 children and 18 kindergartens from May to October, 2015 in Shenzhen, China. We compared two intervention arms - received the intervention in kindergartens only and in both kindergartens and families, respectively - to the control arm that continued usual practice. Results: During the follow-up, the incidence of HFMD in both intervention arms was significantly lower than in the control arm (IRR1: 0.40, 95% CI: 0.26-0.62; IRR2: 0.35, 95% CI: 0.22-0.57); the duration of absence due to sickness in both intervention arms was significantly shorter than in the control arm (?1=0.58, 95% CI: 0.41-0.74; ?2=0.34, 95% CI: 0.17-0.50), controlling for the area type of kindergarten and grade level of children. Furthermore, during the follow-up we found that there were fewer episodes of absence due to respiratory, skin and eye infections (P<0.05). Conclusions: Our intervention is effective at reducing HFMD infections and absence due to sickness in children attending kindergartens in China.

  • Detection and susceptibility pattern of biofilm-producing pseudomonas aeruginosa and using CRISPR/Cas systems to knock-out biofilm-specific antibiotic resistance genes
    Time: 15:30
    Speaker
    Muhammad Sadeqi Nezhad
    Islamic Azad University
    Iran
    Biography

    Muhammad Sadeqi Nezhad is majoring in Clinical Laboratory Science (BSc), Gorgan Islamic Azad University. He is a passionate, research-driven student looking to possess diversity of knowledge and necessary skills at Oncology/Pathology in medical school to begin a career in clinical research to discover diagnostic methods and treatment.

    Abstract

    Background: Biofilm plays an important role in chronic diseases and their eradication is very challengeable, when bacteria confront with antibiotics or strong immune system response they have the choice whether to be planktonic cells or form a biofilm, producing extra cell materials to enhance their survival. The aim of this study was the assessment of incidence and antibiotic algorithms of biofilm-producing Pseudomonas aeruginosa, an opportunistic pathogen and one of the most frequent causes of infectious disease in vulnerable patients. Methods: A total of 100 P.aeruginosa isolates were collected from five different clinical specimens and wards of the fifth Azar Hospital, Gorgan, Iran during November 2017. However, after isolating of samples under sterilized conditions, these strains have been identified as a P.aeruginosa through appropriate biochemical procedures and their antibiotic patterns according to NCCLS disk methodology have been examined; afterward, ELISA method was employed for the detection of biofilm producing P.aeruginosa. Results: Out of 100 clinical isolated P.aeruginosa, 31(31%) of them were biofilm producer. The frequency of biofilm positive strains among specimens have been observed; 56.2% from burned wounds, 36.4% from urines, 22.2% from respiratory secretions, 19.4% from blood cultures and 16.7% of the strains were biofilm positive from normal wound cultures ( P=0129). Besides, 50% of biofilm-producing P.aeruginosa were isolated in internal section followed by burned section (45.8%), ICU section (29.4%), surgical section (15.8%) and 9.2% in pediatric neurology section (P=0129). Furthermore, biofilm-producing P.aeruginosa indicated impressive resistance patterns to piperacillin (49.2%), Imipenem (49.2%), ciprofloxacin (47.6%), gentamicin (46.7%), ticarcillin (44.1%), cefepime (38.9%), ceftazidime (34.9%), ceftriaxone (34.3%), co-trimoxazole (34.1%) and cefotaxime (31.6%) respectively. Conclusion: This study demonstrated that there is a discrepancy in the outbreak of biofilm-producing P.aeruginosa among various specimens and also the pattern of antibiotic susceptibility and resistance did not follow a specific algorithm.

Day 2

KEYNOTE SPEAKERS
  • The threat of zoonotic diseases and Ebola virus disease specifically

    Command Royal Dutch Armed Forces
    Netherlands
    Biography

    Stef Stienstra works internationally for several medical and biotech companies as Scientific Advisory Board Member and is also an active reserve-officer of the Royal Dutch Navy in his rank as Commander (OF4). For the Dutch Armed Forces he is CBRNe specialist with focus on (micro)biological and chemical threats and medical and environmental functional specialist within the 1st CMI (Civil Military Interaction) Battalion of the Dutch Armed Forces. For Expertise France he is now managing an EU CBRN CoE public health project in West Africa. He is visiting Professor at the University of Rome Tor Vergata giving lectures for the CBRN Master study. He has finished both his studies in Medicine and in Biochemistry in The Netherlands with a doctorate and has extensive practical experience in cell biology, immuno-haematology, infectious diseases, biodefense and transfusion medicine. His natural business acumen and negotiation competence helps to initiate new successful businesses, often generated from unexpected combinations of technologies.

    Abstract

    Public health systems are not always prepared for outbreaks of infectious diseases. Although in the past several public health institutes, like the French ‘Institut Pasteur’ and the Dutch ‘Tropeninstituut‘, were prominent surveyors of infectious diseases, the investments in worldwide public health have decreased. Now more attention is given to curative healthcare compared to preventive healthcare. The recent Ebola Virus Disease outbreak in West Africa initiated a new wave of interest to invest in Worldwide Public Health to prevent outbreaks of highly contagious diseases. Zoonotic diseases are threatening as the population does not have natural nor artificial (from vaccination) immune response to new diseases like in the Ebola virus disease outbreak in 2014. The new strain of the Ebola Virus in West Africa was slightly less lethal, compared to other Ebola Virus strains, but the threat of spreading was far bigger as it had a longer incubation time. Most public health systems are not trained well enough to mitigate highly infectious and deadly disease outbreaks. NGO’s helping to fight the outbreak are often better trained in curative treatments and have less experience with biological (bioweapon) threats for which the military are trained for. The UNMEER mission was unique in this. It was a setting in which military and civilian actors cooperate in fighting a biological threat. Protection is essential for health workers. Smart systems must be developed to prevent further spreading of the disease, but it is not only the biosafety, which must be considered, but also the biosecurity, as misuse of extremely dangerous strains of microorganisms cannot be excluded. Several zoonotic infectious diseases, like anthrax, smallpox and hemorrhagic fevers are listed as potential bioweapons. Therefor both biosafety and biosecurity have to be implemented in all measures to fight outbreaks of highly infectious diseases.

  • Effects of environmental toxins (pesticides, industrial chemicals, common household chemicals, cosmetics and cosmoceuticals) on the growing estrogen-obesity-allergy-anxiety/depression epidemics and endocrine and immune responses

    Integrative Immunity Health System
    USA
    Biography

    Benoit Tano is a specialist, pioneer, and the Minneapolis area’s foremost expert in the field of Integrative Immunity. He is the founder of Integrative Immunity Health System, PC located in Edina, Minnesota. He is Johns Hopkins-fellowship member trained in allergy and clinical immunology and authored the number one bestselling book, “The Layman’s Guide to Integrative Immunity” (2016). He combines his vast expertise in allergy and clinical immunology and in hormone imbalance syndrome to treat the root causes of 21stcentury chronic diseases.

    Abstract

    Background: In early 1980s, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) through its EIS, discovered that several US states were gaining weight abnormally. In 1984, the CDC created the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey (BRFSS) to investigate. In 1985, the CDC published the first obesity map based on BRFSS data. Obesity has become epidemic not only in North America, but in the whole world. Concurrent to the obesity epidemic, we now have the estrogen, allergy, and anxiety/depression epidemics. In 1992, The USGS published the pesticides maps and in 2001, the CDC started biomonitoring. The chemicals found in the blood and urine in individuals from different US states are reported in the CDC fourth report. This report is updated every two years and continues to show a growing chemical list overtime. Objective: We sought to establish the relationship between environmental toxins, the endocrine system, and the immune system that may explain the plethora of 21st century chronic diseases. Methods: We used an evidence-based approach called Integrative Immunity and the Healthcare Utilization Project (HCUP) database, the CDC obesity maps, the USGS pesticides maps, chemicals found in the CDC fourth report, and medical geography techniques, to make sense of current estrogen-obesity-allergy-anxiety/depression epidemics. Four key diagrams were conceived to relate pesticides to obesity and comorbidities, and pesticides to environmental and food allergies. Results: We demonstrate that the areas of the heaviest pesticide spray correspond to the areas of the heaviest obesity, morbidity, mortality, allergy and anxiety/depression and even divorce rates. Environmental toxins cause hormonal imbalance that leads to obesity and its comorbidities. Some of these toxins such as xenoestrogens have receptors on the mast cells and basophils, and cause histamine and leukotriene release that are responsible for nasal, respiratory, cutaneous, and food reactions. Acetylcholine esterase inhibitor chemicals cause depletion of neurotransmitters such as dopamine, norepinephrine and epinephrine to create mood swings. Other chemicals stimulate the immune cells to produce antibodies linked to autoimmune diseases. Conclusion: There is a vicious cycle that goes from environmental toxins to chronic diseases. Understanding the mechanisms through which toxic chemicals affect the human body offers opportunities for adequate treatments.

  • The clinical characteristics and outcome of H1N1 pneumonia patients with and without acute renal injury

    Minya University
    Egypt
    Biography

    Essam Badawy has completed his MD from Minia University, Egypt and ITS THESIS - studies in Cairo University School of Medicine. He is Senior Consultant Internal Medicine and Professor of Internal Medicine and Clinical Immunology, Faculty of Medicine, Minia University. He has published more than 24 papers in reputed journals and has been serving as an Editorial Board Member of repute and reviewer in some international journals.

    Abstract

    Currently, little information exists about the impact of kidney injury and resource utilization in the form of renal replacement therapy in critically ill patients with H1N1 infections. 40 patients who were living in or visitors to Makkah region, admitted to the hospital and revealed confirmatory H1N1 infection, pneumonia and acute renal injury, were submitted to rRT-PCR. Severity of illness was assessed by using APACHE II, SOFA score, MOD score XR chest score, PaO2/FIO2 and Co-morbidities were recorded. Acute renal injury is an adding impact of increasing the mortality rate of H1N1 pneumonia patients and may be related directly to the infection by this virus or complication to it which may be explained by severe hypoxia secondary to severe lung injury, multi organ dysfunction. A high mortality in middle and old- aged patients with underlying medical co-morbidities was associated with higher symptoms severity, APACHE II, SOFA, MODS and XRC scores. Early recognition of the disease as well as prompt medical attention to provide opportunities aiming to limit the progression of the illness and to reduce the mortality. Prospective and controlled clinical trials are needed for clarifying the effectiveness of the early treatment and protection by using H1N1 vaccine.

  • Immune system and heart failure

    Thomas Jefferson University
    USA
    Biography

    Khadija Rafiq has completed her PhD from Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium. She is assistant professor of Thomas Jefferson University, USA.

    Abstract

    Heart failure (HF) is the final clinical entity of many diverse disease causes and mechanisms. HF refers to a state of inadequate cardiac function to maintain systemic perfusion at a rate commensurate with the requirements of the body at rest or during states of increased demand. Mortality is comparable to that of the most common cancers, with a 50% 5-year survival. Despite advances in our understanding of the pathophysiology and treatment of HF, this malady continues to be a major public health burden with an enormous impact on the cost of healthcare. Current research efforts are focused on understanding novel mechanisms and signaling pathways. Immune activation and inflammation have been postulated as important pathophysiological events in this process. Cardiac inflammation is major pathophysiological mechanism operating in the failing heart, regardless of HF etiology. Experimental and clinical studies have suggested that inflammation in the development of heart failure is related to an imbalance between pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory cytokines. Furthermore, disturbances of the cellular and humoral immune system are frequently observed in heart failure. Therefore, it is essential to understand the immunological mechanisms involved in HF in order to develop useful therapies against the life threatening disorder.

Virology
Co-Chair
Speaker
  • Health equity in ICD11 borreliosis codes
    Time: 11:30
    Speaker
    Huib Kraaijeveld
    On Lyme Foundation
    Netherlands
    Biography

    Huib Kraaijeveld (MA) is trained as a social psychologist and educator. Since 2010 he has been researching and documenting the mistreatment of LB patients and its devastating social consequences to countless people and their children. He shares the stories and knowledge of both sufferers, solvers, investigators and influencers on the website of the On Lyme Foundation, as public education and input for both political actions and legal cases. He has authored the book ‘Shifting the Lyme Paradigm’ and is also a founding member of the ‘Ad Hoc Committee for Health Equity in ICD11 Borreliosis Codes', an all-voluntary global multidisciplinary consortium of highly skilled professionals representing nations from five continents. Their efforts are already bringing more-informed political attention and pressure to correct the response to the Lyme pandemic.

    Abstract

    Borreliosis infections are pandemic-these include relapsing fever and Lyme borreliosis LB. The WHO has recognized Lyme borreliosis as a multi-region ‘disease of consequence’ for decades. In August 2017, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control noted that LB is among the 30 most threatening diseases for public health (Decision 1082/2013/European Union). According to experts across key veterinary and medical institutions in West Africa, many in Africa depend on livestock for their livelihood and this exposes them to zoonotic borreliosis. Research has shown that many cases of what was assumed to be drug resistant malaria was borreliosis infection. In Australia, the lack of diagnostic tools for forms of relapsing fever borreliosis leaves thousands of patients without confirmation or access to medical care. Clinicians and researchers across the US, Canada, Eastern, Western and Northern Europe, the Asia Pacific and Africa have stated that WHO diagnostic codes for these infections need to be updated and surveillance needs to be improved. Until this happens, estimated millions of people will just suffer. Studies indicates costs to be in the millions for employers and billions for certain national economies. Based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s conservative estimate of annual LB infection in the USA, their 2017 article on persistent infection and their 2006 study on the cost of Lyme disease, roughly 380,000 LB infections cost more the US more than 4.09 billion dollars annually. WHO diagnostic codes do not recognize many of the disabling conditions caused by these infections. Across the globe, medical systems use these codes to diagnose illness and determine treatments. The outdated codes result in very sick people being denied treatment -even when treatment options come from clinical practice guidelines that meet internationally accepted standards for guidelines. In addition to denial of care, there are attacks on medical professionals who are following these guidelines to treat chronic Lyme disease patients. The Lyme and relapsing fever borreliosis bacteria-spirochetes similar to syphilis-are known to evade immune response and form biofilms that are difficult to eradicate. Hundreds of peer reviewed publications describe serious physical conditions caused by the Lyme borreliosis infection. They include Lyme nephritis, hepatitis, aortic aneurysms, persistent infection, strokes, dementia, heart failure and congenital Lyme disease. The complications from syphilis are clearly listed and detailed in the WHO codes whereas most Lyme complications are not. From an ethical perspective, there is unjustifiable medical risk involved in continuing to obstruct access to medical care for patients that meet clinical diagnosis and those suffering from chronic LB and relapsing fever borreliosis. Medicine has many cases of scientific debate, for example, how best to treat certain cancers or autism. In all these cases, policy makers have a duty to proactively protect the right to health. In June 2017, an international team of scientists, medical professionals, human rights experts and patient advocates testified before the United Nations Special Rapporteur responsible for health and human rights regarding the human right violations experienced by Lyme and relapsing fever borreliosis patients.

  • The intuitive rational-choice theory of madness: Schizophrenia, criminal insanity & neuroses
    Time: 12:00
    Speaker
    Prof.Yacov Rofé
    Bar-Ilan University
    Israel
    Biography

    Yacov Rofé is a Professor of Psychology and former Chair of the Interdisciplinary Department of Social Sciences at Bar-Ilan University in Ramat Gan, Israel. He taught for the Department of Psychology at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, and was a visiting Professor at Rutgers Medical School in New Jersey. He has published many articles in leading academic journals of Psychology, including a theory entitled “Stress and Affiliation: a Utility Theory”, published by Psychological Review in 1984. An additional influential article, published in Review of General Psychology, 2008, is a review that refutes the existence of repression and the Freudian Unconscious.

    Abstract

    The book, The Intuitive Rational-Choice Theory: Schizophrenia, Criminal Inanity & Neuroses, presents a new theory which explains the development and treatment of schizophrenia and criminal insanity as rational coping mechanisms. Based on the strong relationships between schizophrenia and neurological impairments, medical models took for granted that all cases of schizophrenia result from neurological impairments, even when there was no evidence, as in the case the Unabomber and John Nash. The new theory, termed also Psych-Bizarreness Theory, demonstrates that it can explain all cases of schizophrenia, regardless whether they suffer from neurological damages or not, as well as criminal insanity and neurotic disorders, by conscious-rational terms. According to the new theory, when individuals are confronted with extreme levels of stress, irrespective of whether the source of the stress is neurological or environmental, their behavioral options become limited: They can commit suicide, develop a drug abuse, use aggression to eliminate the stressor, or intuitively choose certain mad/bizarre behaviors diagnosed by five empirical criteria (Rofé, 2000, 2016), that suite their coping demands. Madness is seen primarily as a repressive coping mechanism, which individuals intuitively choose when confronted with unbearable levels of stress. Thus, contrary to psychoanalysis, madness cause repression rather than visa versa. The choice of a specific mad behavior is determined by the same three principles which guide the consumer's decision-making process when purchasing a certain product. The major principal is the need controllability: The specific mad behavior must increase the patient's ability to exercise control over the stressor and\or provide certain desired privileges. The second guiding principle is availability: The choice of the specific symptom is affected by various channels of information, such as the media, personal experiences, genetic predispositions, family and peers that increase the saliency of certain suitable behaviors. The third principle is cost-benefit analysis: The mad behavior is chosen only if the individual intuitively feels that it will reduce the level of his or her emotional distress. Although the decision to implement the intuitive/unconscious choice is conscious, patients become unaware of the Knowledge of Self-Involvement (KSI) through a variety of cognitive processes that disrupt the encoding of this knowledge and a number of memory inhibiting mechanisms that cause its forgetfulness. Subsequently, utilizing their socially internalized beliefs regarding the causes of psychological disorders, patients develop a self-deceptive belief which attributes the cause of their symptoms to factors beyond their conscious control. The new theory proved its ability to integrate all therapeutic methods pertaining to neurosis into one theoretical framework (Rofé, 2010), explaining all data relevant to the development and treatment of conversion disorder, including neurological findings, which seemingly support the medical explanation of this disorder, and resolves the theoretical confusion regarding the explanation of phobia by distinguishing between bizarre (e.g., agoraphobia and chocolate phobia) and non-bizarre phobia, such as dog phobia. Robert Aumann, the Nobel Prize-winning economist, noted in a letter of recommendation to publishers of the present book (2017), Rofé's theory is as "revolutionary as it sounds, fits well into the frameworks of economics, game theory, and evolution".

  • Targeting conserved broadly neutralizing epitopes within HIV-1 envelope gp41 MPER as vaccine immunogens for seronegative partners of HIV-1 discordant couples.
    Time: 14:10
    Speaker
    Godwin W Nchinda
    Centre International de Reference Chantal Biya (CIRCB)
    Cameroon
    Biography

    Dr. Godwin W Nchinda (Ph.D) is Senior Immunologist CIRCB and Deputy Director General Head of CIRCB Vaccinology Laboratory Head of CIRCB Biobanking Laboratory For the last twenty four years I have focused my attention to developing model vaccines that could be easily translated into clinics against infectious diseases and tumors. I studied Microbiology in the University of Calabar, Nigeria and then spent four years thereafter in the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria working on an NIH Grant where we developed a feed based vaccine against Newcastle disease virus infections in free range Chickens. During my Ph.D thesis (1998-2001) I learned how to design and evaluate model SIV/HIV vaccines under the mentorship of Dr. K. Überla, Professor of Molecular Virology in the University of Leipzig Germany. I next did a two year postdoc in the Ruhr University Bochum, Germany where we continued characterizing HIV/SIV vaccines. During the next 7 years (2003-2010), I worked under the mentorship of Dr. Ralph Steinman (2011 Nobel prize for Medicine) of the Rockefeller University USA, where we developed new forms of HIV, TB, Malaria and Tumor vaccines by harnessing Dendritic cells. In 2008 I was certified as a clinical and translational research scientist by the Rockefeller University. In 2010 I relocated to CIRCB, Yaounde Cameroon where we are now optimizing dendritic cell targeted vaccines for clinical evaluation in Africa. The first in human evaluation of a Cameroon developed HIV-1 vaccine is envisaged in 2017. In addition we are also studying the phenotypic and functional properties of various immune’s cells in the context of co-morbidies with HIV-1 infection. We are looking particularly at the impact of malaria, HBV, HCV, HPV and TB in the long term management of HIV-1 especially in remote areas of Africa. We are also actively training young research scientists at the Msc and Ph.D level to perform cutting edge science. Our work has been funded by TWAS, EDCTP, Canada grand challenge, Italy, Germny, Korea and Norway. Never the less the the Cameroonian government has remain our greatest funder.

    Abstract

    Background: The membrane proximal external region (MPER) of HIV-1 envelope glycoprotein-41 (gp41) is targeted by several broadly neutralizing antibodies whose conserved linear epitopes are promising targets for vaccine design. However, a formidable challenge has remained the difficulty to design and deliver MPER based immunogens for the efficient induction of such broadly neutralizing HIV-1 specific antibodies (bnAb). This is mainly because the linear bnAb MPER epitopes are poorly accessible to the immune system. The overall objective of this study therefore was the development and validation of an RNA coliphage Q? display system for efficient presentation of conserved bnAb epitopes to the immune system Method: To overcome the challenge of effective presentation of MPER to the immune system we have selectively engineered the surface of the RNA coliphage Q? to to display a 51 aa consensus MPER peptide upon the surface of the phage particle. The expression cassettes were used for the production of Q?MPER recombinant hybrid phages after transformation of E. coli HB101 strain. Results:Specific recognition of all the linear MPER based bnAb epitopes were confirmed in ELISA with recombinant Q?MPER phage as antigen and the bnAb 2F5, Z13, 4E10 and 10E8 as antibodies. Next the prevalence of MPER specific antibodies was determined in plasma from antiretroviral naïve HIV infected participants of the CIRCB AFRODEC cohort. The greater majority (84%) of participants’ plasma showed MPER peptide specific reactivity with antibody titers ranging ranging from 200 to 409600 comparative to background values with Q? empty as antigen. Conclusion:Thus, this novel recombinant Q?MPER phages can be used to monitor MPER- specific immune responses in clinical samples. In addition the recombinant Q?MPER phage can be used as immunogens either alone or in combination with other strategies for the induction of MPER specific immunity against HIV-1.

  • Human c-Cbl and Cbl-b proteins are more highly expressed in the thymus compared to the testis
    Time: 14:40
    Speaker
    Mazo Kone
    University of Ibadan
    Nigeria
    Biography

    Mazo has been initiated to the world of research during both his Bachelor and Master. Time during which, he received basics training in biology of Cancer, Physiolopathology of Metabolic diseases, Infectious diseases and many more. However he quickly developed an interest for the molecular biology of cancer, physiology of the cell and infectious diseases. His worked on the oncogenic properties of Human c-Cbl and Cbl-B as Master project work. Currently he is doing a PhD in Cell Biology and Genetics at the University of Ibadan in Nigeria. His research is on congenital infections in pregnancy both in Mali and Nigeria. In general Mazo's research works are axed on molecular biology of cancer and infectious diseases. He is the leader of Rachetes Algeria since 2012, the promoter and the manager of The Biomedicalresearcher project. He is a Lecturer in Mali (Universite Scientique Libre de Bamako). He is also a writer and an author in personal development. Mazo likes research, teaching, reading and communication.

    Abstract

    Background & Objectives: c-Cbl and Cbl-b are two members of the Cbl family proteins, with a crucial role of down regulation of tyrosine kinase receptors. They act as E3 ubiquitin ligases and are multivalent adaptor proteins, making them important in maintaining homeostasis in the body. This study investigated the expression level in thymus and testis in normal conditions. Methods: The expression level was assessed by immunochemistry of tissue microarrays of normal thymus and testis biopsies. Results: Cbl-b and c-Cbl proteins were found to be highly expressed in normal testis and thymus, indicated as yellowish brown granules in the cyto-membrane and cytoplasm compared to controls. The c-Cbl appears to be more highly expressed than the Cbl-b in the thymus, while c-Cbl appears slightly stronger than Cbl-b in the testis. The thymus was found with a higher grade compared to the testis. Conclusion: In this work we concluded, that in normal condition, thymus tissue expresses more Cbl family proteins (c-Cbl and Cbl-b) than the testis tissue in humans.

Bacteriology
Co-Chair
Fungus Infection and Parasites
Co-Chair
Rare and Neglected Tropical Diseases
Co-Chair

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