Day 2 :
National Bioforensic Analysis Center, USA
Time : 09:30-09:55
Bergman completed a PhD at MIT and postdoctoral training at the University of Michigan Medical School and The Institute for Genomic Research (TIGR). He is currently the head of the Genomics Department at NBFAC. He has published more than 45 papers in reputed journals and serves on numerous advisory and editorial boards.
The identification and characterization of emerging, engineered, or even synthetic biological agents is extremely challenging, and requires an analytical process that is flexible, agent-agnostic, and capable of high resolution. Here we present a genomics-based approach to bioforensic analysis that allows for isolate-level identification of any biological agent, characterization of any sample regardless of complexity, and inferential analysis of DNA sequences to assess both phylogeny and function. This approach includes sample extraction and next-generation sequencing at BSL-2, BSL-3, and BSL-4 as well as bioinformatic analysis using a suite of custom tools and pipelines designed for bioforensics. Several example analyses will be discussed to demonstrate how genomics is applied to different types of bioforensic problems, and to highlight its value in high resolution genotyping, metagenomic analysis, viral discovery, and other applications.
National Institute for Infectious Diseases, Italy
Time : 09:55-10:20
Nicola Petrosillo has a degree in Medicine (1977), and specialization in Infectious Diseases (1981) and Internal Medicine (1985). He is Director of the Clinical and Research Department at the National Institute for Infectious Diseases “Lazzaro Spallanzani”, Rome, Italy.He is contract Professor at the University “La Sapienza”, Rome; Researcher at Clinical Microbiology Institute of University of Groningen UMCG, The Netherlands; Lecturer at the Faculty of Medicine for Foreigners, Zagreb University, Croatia. His clinical and research interests focus on severe, healthcare acquired infections, in particular those caused by multidrug resistant organisms. He is author of 270 articles in peer reviewed journals.
Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) is one of the most common cause of healthcare-related infection in hospitals and is thus a leading cause of morbidity and mortality. Furthermore, asymptomatic carriage of C. difficile is believed to occur in about up to 7% of healthy adults and in about 11-25% of hospitalized patients; and may therefore contribute to healthcare transmission. Despite specific antibiotic therapy, approximately 14-25% of patients will develop recurrence of CDI.rnThe most important risk factor for CDI is prior or ongoing antibiotic therapy which can disrupt the normal intestinal flora and allow C. difficile to colonize the gut. Other risk factors include chemotherapy, solid organ and bone transplantation, and chronic treatment with proton pump inhibitors. Specific patient groups are also considered to be at risk, e.g. elderly, chronically ill, individuals with inflammatory bowel disease, and immunocompromised patients. However, CDI is becoming an increasingly common cause of community-acquired diarrhoea in low-risk populations, such as children, healthy adults, and pregnant women.rnSpecific guidelines to limit the spread of CDI in the healthcare setting have been recently issued, that incorporate diagnosis, isolation measures, hand hygiene, environmental control including cleaning and disinfection, measures for improving the hospital layout, antimicrobial stewardship programmes, and prevention of recurrent CDI in patients requiring antimicrobial therapy.rn
WHO National Influenza Centre, Italy
Time : 10:20-10:45
M.R. Castrucci has completed her PhD at La Sapienza University of Rome and postdoctoral studies at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Memphis, TN, USA. She is the Director of Influenza and Other Respiratory Viruses Unit, WHO National Influenza Centre, IstitutoSuperiore di Sanità. She has been principal investigator of national and international projects. She has over 60 publications in peer-reviewed journals, and has been serving as a reviewer for different journals.
Influenza virus causes annual epidemics with substantial respiratory illness and mortality worldwide, particularly in high-risk groups, such as the elderly and immunocompromised. Vaccination is the most effective way to protect people against influenza and to contain its spread. However, seasonal influenza viruses continuously accumulate mutations in the antigenic sites of the hemagglutinin molecule (antigenic drift), thus requiring annual renewal of the strain composition of vaccines. The influenza network established by the World Health Organization (WHO), which is known as the Global Influenza Surveillance and Response System (GISRS), has the main objective to carry out virological surveillance of human influenza and ensure the capacity to monitor the evolution of influenza viruses, their antigenic characteristics and susceptibility to antivirals. Moreover, the emergence of novel strains of influenza A viruseswith pandemic potential further underlines the need to monitor and promptly detect human cases of influenza at the human-animal interface.rnIn Italy, influenza virological surveillance is routinely carried out by the National Influenza Centre at IstitutoSuperiore di Sanità, in collaboration with a network of peripheral Laboratories. Recently, the evolution of human seasonal A(H3N2) viruses with changes in receptor binding posessome serious concerns for identification and antigenic characterization of the most recent viral strains. The incidence of A(H1N1)pdm09 viral infection among young/middle-aged adults and the sustained co-circulation of B viruses further contribute to the daunting complexity of seasonal influenza epidemics. Results of influenza surveillance activities over the last two seasons are presented.rn