Program Schedule

CRISPR Technology
Viral Oncology
Viral Epidemiology
Evolution of Viruses
Control of Viral Infections and Infectious Diseases
Epidemiology and Evolution of Viruses
Control of Viral Infections
Virus Infection

Session Introduction

Yongxiu Yao
Yongxiu Yao,The Pirbright Institute, UK
Title: Genome editing of avian herpesviruses for studying viral pathogenesis and developing recombinant vaccines

Biography: Dr. Yongxiu Yao is the deputy head of Avian Oncogenic Viruses group at The Pirbright Institute. Her major interest is in the host/virus interactions to unravel the molecular mechanisms of tumour formation by avian oncogenic viruses. Following significant contributions to the field of miRNAs through the identification of several novel herpesvirus-encoded miRNAs and their roles in pathogenesis, she has recently focused on the application of CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing of avian herpesviruses for studying viral pathogenesis and developing recombinant vaccines. Currently she is leading several projects using CRISPR/Cas9 editing tool to ask fundamental questions on host-virus interactions.

Abstract: Marek's disease (MD) represents a highly contagious T-cell lymphoid neoplasia of chickens associated with huge economic losses to the poultry industry and vaccines have become an important means of control of MD in the field since their introduction in the early 1970’s. MD vaccine strain Herpesvirus of turkeys (HVT) is also widely used as a vector platform for generation of recombinant vaccines against a number of avian diseases due to its ability to tolerate foreign gene insertions, overcome the inhibition of maternal antibodies and induce long-term protective immunity in chickens. Marek's disease virus (MDV) serves as an excellent model for studying herpesvirus biology and virus-induced oncogenesis. MDV-transformed lymphoblastoid cell lines are extremely valuable for interrogating the roles of viral and host genes in situ in the context of a cancer cell. The large genome size and strict cell-associated properties of the virus had posed technical difficulties in studying the viral gene functions, developing the recombinant vaccine and genome editing in tumor cell lines. Significant progress was achieved in the last decade through the development of infectious bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC), overlapping cosmidor fosmidclones containing the full-length genomes of MDV for manipulation of the genomes to study gene functions and develop the recombinant vaccines. However, all of those techniques were extremely laboriousand time-consuming. The advent of the revolutionary gene editing technologies such as the CRISPR/Cas9 systems has opened up the possibilities of using them for editing the genomes of large DNA viruses. We have recently applied CRISPR/Cas9 system for editing avian herpesviruses. We showed that CRISPR/Cas9-based genome editing can be used efficiently for gene disruption, insertion, deletion and replacement to generate HVT/MDV mutants for gene function study, recombinant vaccine development and host-virus interaction in MDV-transformed cell lines.


VENUGOPAL NAIR
Venugopal Nair,The Pirbright Institute, UK
Title: Avian Oncogenic viruses: Recent developments in pathogenesis and control

Biography: Venugopal Nair obtained Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine from India. He started his research career in virology at Oxford University before moving to Pirbright Institute. His group uses innovative approaches in studying virus pathogenesis and in developing state of the art vaccines and diagnostics for controlling avian diseases. Prof. Nair also holds Visiting Professorship at Oxford University, Imperial College London and is also a Jenner Investigator. He has extensive international collaborations through Global Alliance for Research on Avian Diseases and UK-China Centre of Excellence for Research on Avian Diseases. In recognition of his contributions to Science, he was awarded OBE (Officer of the Order of British Empire) by the Her Majesty

Abstract: Avian tumour viruses are a group of pathogens associated with tumours of different tissues in poultry worldwide, with significant economic losses and animal welfare implications. These include (a) herpesviruses associated with Marek’s disease (MD) characterised by rapid-onset T-cell lymphomas, paralysis and immunosuppression, and (b) retroviruses associated with avian leukosis and reticuloendotheliosis characterised by tumours of different haematopoietic cells. Historically, these viruses have contributed immensely to our understanding of virology and oncology, and on the use of vaccines against cancer. Marek’s disease virus (MDV) is a good example of a virus showing tropism for multiple cell types but with distinct host-virus interactions in different cell types. MDV also has the ability for switching between lytic and latent stages of infection, with the distinct feature of shedding of fully infectious virus populations from the feather follicle epithelium. Research on MDV has provided insights into the critical role of viral genes such as Meq and microRNAs in the induction of tumours. Widespread vaccination used for the control of MD has also recently demonstrated the potential role of vaccines in driving virulence. Avian retroviruses that include different subgroups of avian leukosis virus (ALV) and reticuloendotheliosis viruses (REV) are also major pathogens associated with cancer in chickens through the activation/transduction of oncogenes. Recent technological advances in next generation sequencing have enabled detailed interrogation of the virus-host interactions in different stages of infection and transformed cells. Similarly, applications of gene editing tools have given the opportunities for examining the critical roles of viral and host genes in virus-induced oncogenesis. Finally, virus induced tumours are also being seen as excellent biological systems for studying the epigenome and application of immune check point tools against cancer.


Jacques choucair
Jacques Choucair, Saint-Joseph University, Lebanon
Title: What do Lebanese women know about cervical cancer and human papillomavirus? A report on awareness levels in urban communities

Biography: Jacques Choucair is an Infectious diseases specialist in Hotel Dieu de France teaching hospital in Beyrouth. He got his MD degree in 1994 from the Saint-Joseph University, Faculty of Medicine in Beyrouth. Then he did a 2 years fellowship from October 1998 till October 2000 at Bichat Claude Bernard hospital affiliated to University of Paris VII faculty of Medicine and bacteriology at Broussais hospital affiliated to University of Paris V, faculty of Pharmacy. He got in October 1999 his Infectious Diseases diploma, Saint-Joseph University, Faculty of Medecine, Beyrouth. Since May 2001, he is a partial time practitioner and ID consultant in the Infectious diseases department at Hôtel Dieu de France de Beyrouth teaching hospital. He also got a Medical Teaching diploma from the University of Montreal in Canada in 2003. He 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.He is a former member of the scientific committee of the Lebanese Society of Infectious Diseases, a member in the arab association for the proper use of antibiotics, a member of the infection control committee at the Hotel Dieu de France teaching Hospital, member of ECMID and a member of the evaluation and docimology committee and in charge of the OSCE exam at the Saint Joseph University, school of Medicine.

Abstract: Objectives: To evaluate the knowledge of Lebanese women about cervical cancer (CC) and human papillomavirus (HPV) infection. To measure the uptake of the cervical cancer screening test (Pap smear) and the uptake of HPV vaccination, and determine the influencing factors.Methods: 444 women with no medical background filled out a 32 item questionnaire. Collected data was analyzed in SPSS® v. 21.0. Results: 45.7% aged 18 to 25with high education qualifications (73.9%) and employed in a field not related to health (84.9%). They did not visit a general physician (64%) or a gynecologist (64.6%) regularly. 85.6% were aware of CC with a median CC symptom knowledge score of 3.00 ± 2.13. HPV infection involvement in the pathogenesis of CC was identified in 53.9% of cases. 35.6% of women were aware of HPV infection. The median HPV general knowledge score was 5.39 ± 2.38 and the median HPV vaccination score was 6.00 ± 2.41. 37.6% of participants had been screened by Pap smear for CC at least once in their lives whereas 9% did not know what a Pap smear was. Screening was significantly associated with CC awareness and regular visits to physicians. Only 11.7% of participants aged 18 to 35 were vaccinated against HPV. Vaccination uptake was significantly associated with CC awareness, religion, field of work and studies, and regular visits to gynecologists. Conclusion: Lebanese women residing in the urban communities are not well informed about CC and HPV. Screening by Pap smear and HPV vaccination uptakes are non-satisfactory.


Yuichi Itto
Yuichi Itto, Aichi Institute of Technology, Japan
Title: Virus capsids and memory

Biography:

Abstract: Viruses have been attracting great interest from the viewpoint of physics [1-3]. A recent experimental observation [4] has revealed, for the diffusion of capsids, which surround viral DNA, in interchromatin corrals of a cell nucleus, that the diffusion exponent obeys the Gaussian distribution in a wide range (see Ref. [5] for its theoretical derivation), whereas the distribution of the spatial displacement may follow the exponential law. Taking into account the fact that large displacements are significant for a fast diffusion (like, e.g., in Lévy flights [6]), the observation shows how exotic the dynamics of the virus capsid is. Here, a recent result given in Ref. [7] about memory (i.e., non-Markovianity) of the process underlying the diffusion of the virus capsid over the corrals is reported. The sojourn-time distribution that exhibits how long the virus capsid stays in the corral is discussed. A relation to be satisfied by Markovian processes is then examined based on the distribution. The process is shown to have a long-term memory. References [1] Emerging Topics in Physical Virology, edited by P.G. Stockley and R. Twarock (Imperial College Press, London, 2010). [2] W.H. Roos, R. Bruinsma, and G.J.L. Wuite, Nat. Phys. 6, 733 (2010). [3] Structure and Physics of Viruses, edited by M.G. Mateu (Springer, Dordrecht, 2013). [4] J.B. Bosse, I.B. Hogue, M. Feric, S.Y. Thiberge, B. Sodeik, C.P. Brangwynne, and L.W. Enquist, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 112, E5725 (2015). [5] Y. Itto, Phys. Lett. A 382, 1238 (2018). [6] Lévy Flights and Related Topics in Physics, edited by M.F. Shlesinger, G.M. Zaslavsky, and U. Frisch (Springer, Heidelberg, 1995). [7] Y. Itto and J.B. Bosse, Acta Phys. Pol. B 49, 1941 (2018).


Hyunjo Kim
Hyunjo Kim,Gachon University, South Korea
Title: Bioinformatics Tools in Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Disease Prevention Algorithms

Biography: Professor Hyunjo Kim has graduated from Pharmaceutics department of Temple University with Ph.D. at the age of 35 and finished post-doctoral position at Ajou Medical School (Korea) with more than 40 papers since 2000.She has careered in pharmaceutical areas for two decades such as R&D / clinical development and technology transfer as well as IP licensing. Recently, she has investigated on algorithms regarding oncology, AD, osteoporosis and microbiology.

Abstract: Bioinformatics in infectious disease is aimed at describing the structure of outbreak communities, the methodology works equally well to identify pathogens in clinical samples. Furthermore, early detection of infectious disease in outbreaks is one of the significant issues in syndromic surveillance systems. The key concept in using clinical genomics methodology is a process of generating large-scale sequence data sets that adequately sample a specimen for microbial content and then of applying computational methods to resolve the sequences into individual species, genes, pathways, or other features. It helps to provide a rapid epidemiological response and reduce morbidity and mortality. Therefore, bioinformatics model algorithms for virus transmission and prevention in terms of resistome would be taken into consideration. The relevant future study of resistome reveals strategies that can be applied in new antibiotic discoveries.


Suliman Qadir Afridi
Suliman Qadir Afrid,Technische Universität München, Germany
Title: Epidemiology and Evolution of Viruses

Biography: Suliman Qadir Afridi has received his BSc and MSc in microbiology and virology and now he is doing his PhD at the Institute of Virology, Technische Universität München (TUM), Germany.He is a DAAD scholar. He has published 3 papers in reputed journals.

Abstract: Norovirus (NoV) is known to be a leading cause of acute gastroenteritis in children and adults worldwide. In the last years, chronic NoV infection has become a scientifically and clinically challenging condition in immunocompromised patients. In this view, we analyzed NoV evolution in chronically infected patients. A quantitative ELISA was developed to determine humoral immune response in sequential serum samples of chronically infected patients.The assay indicated immune escape in one patient. When NoV sequences were analyzed by next generation sequencing, the latest samples showed highest sequence deviation from the transmitted strains. The number of quasispecies was found to initially increase but later decrease before NoV clearance. Non-synonymous mutations with frequency of 52-78 % were observed in chronically infected patients indicating positive selection. In contrast, in acutely infected patients very low mutations frequency (4.5-6.1 %) was detected. Structural modeling and molecular dynamics simulation revealed a fast evolution with numerous NoV variants with mutations resulting in conformational changes of antigenic epitopes leading to immune escape under positive immune selection.


Segundo Mesa Castillo
Segundo Mesa Castillo, Psychiatric Hospital of Havana, Cuba
Title: Direct evidence of viral infection and mitochondrial alterations in the brain of fetuses at high risk for schizophrenia

Biography: Segundo Mesa Castillo. As Specialist in Neurology, he worked for 10 years in the Institute of Neurology of Havana, Cuba. He has worked in Electron Microscopic Studies on Schizophrenia for 32 years. He was awarded with the International Price of the Stanley Foundation Award Program and for the Professional Committee to work as a fellowship position in the Laboratory of the Central Nervous System Studies, National Institute of Neurological Diseases and Stroke under Dr. Joseph Gibbs for a period of 6 months, National Institute of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, Washington D.C. USA, June 5, 1990.

Abstract: There is increasing evidences that favor the prenatal beginning of schizophrenia. These evidences point toward intra-uterine environmental factors that act specifically during the second pregnancy trimester producing a direct damage of the brain of the fetus. The current available technology doesn't allow observing what is happening at cellular level since the human brain is not exposed to a direct analysis in that stage of the life in subjects at high risk of developing schizophrenia. Methods. In 1977 we began a direct electron microscopic research of the brain of fetuses at high risk from schizophrenic mothers in order to finding differences at cellular level in relation to controls. Results. In these studies we have observed within the nuclei of neurons the presence of complete and incomplete viral particles that reacted in positive form with antibodies to herpes simplex hominis type I [HSV1] virus, and mitochondria alterations. Conclusion. The importance of these findings can have practical applications in the prevention of the illness keeping in mind its direct relation to the aetiology and physiopathology of schizophrenia. A study of amniotic fluid cells in women at risk of having a schizophrenic offspring is considered. Of being observed the same alterations that those observed previously in the cells of the brain of the studied foetuses, it would intend to these women in risk of having a schizophrenia descendant, previous information of the results, the voluntary medical interruption of the pregnancy or an early anti HSV1 viral treatment as preventive measure of the later development of the illness.


EFOUBA NKO’O
EFOUBA NKO’O, Cameroon Field Epidemiology Training program, France
Title: Measles Outbreakinvestigationand Vaccination Corverage Assessment In Rey-Boubahealthdistrict,Cameroon, April 2018: A Case Control Study

Biography:

Abstract: Introduction:Measles,the fourth leading cause of death among children <5years, is diseaseunder surveillance in Cameroon. The country experienced multiple outbreak from 2016 to 2017. In March 23rd,2018, the national reference laboratory confirmed seven cases of measles from a village in Rey Bouba Health District (HD) in northern Cameroon. The outbreak investigation aimed to identify cases, risk factors and vaccination coverage. Methodology: We conducted a case-control study and a vaccination coverage assessment. A measles case was anyone living in Rey-Bouba HD with fever, generalized maculopapular rash and/or cough, cold conjunctivitis, having an epidemiological link with a case.We matched one case with one control fromthe same neighborhood andage. We reviewed consultation records in health facilitiesand searchedcasesin the community. We recordedage, sex, location and vaccinationstatus. Vaccination coverage among<15yearshealthy children around cases was assessed through mother's reports and/orvaccination card. We performedunivariate analysisusing odds ratios with a 95% Confidence interval. Results: Overall,we identified 68 cases from February to April 2018.One died. Median age was 4 years [6 months-22 years]. Female/male Sex ratio was 0.7.A nomad camp had the highest attackratewas 3.23%.Of the 55 cases with vaccination information, 76.3% (42/55) were vaccinated. We matched55 cases with 55controls.Contact with cases was a risk factor (OR=8, 95%CI [1.68-37.99]). Good personal hygiene was a protective factor (OR=0.27, 95%CI [0.11-0.69]). Overall, we enrolled254<15years childrentoassess vaccination coverage. Vaccinated children represented 41%(104/254) and among 61%(63/104) of them, vaccination card was unavailable. Conclusion: The contact of cases with healthy childrenwas risk factor and low immunization coverage in the HD could explain this measles outbreak. A vaccination campaign was recommendedin this HD, especially in the nomad campand strengthening of routine immunization campaigns


Jacques choucair
Jacques Choucair, Saint-Joseph University, Lebanon
Title: Vaccination of hepatitis B in healthy adults: effect of sex and age, two protocols of revaccination in non-responders

Biography: Jacques Choucair is an Infectious diseases specialist in Hotel Dieu de France teaching hospital in Beyrouth. He got his MD degree in 1994 from the Saint-Joseph University, Faculty of Medicine in Beyrouth. Then he did a 2 years fellowship from October 1998 till October 2000 at Bichat Claude Bernard hospital affiliated to University of Paris VII faculty of Medicine and bacteriology at Broussais hospital affiliated to University of Paris V, faculty of Pharmacy. He got in October 1999 his Infectious Diseases diploma, Saint-Joseph University, Faculty of Medecine, Beyrouth. Since May 2001, he is a partial time practitioner and ID consultant in the Infectious diseases department at Hôtel Dieu de France de Beyrouth teaching hospital. He also got a Medical Teaching diploma from the University of Montreal in Canada in 2003. He 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.He is a former member of the scientific committee of the Lebanese Society of Infectious Diseases, a member in the arab association for the proper use of antibiotics, a member of the infection control committee at the Hotel Dieu de France teaching Hospital, member of ECMID and a member of the evaluation and docimology committee and in charge of the OSCE exam at the Saint Joseph University, school of Medicine.

Abstract: Objectives: To evaluate the knowledge of Lebanese women about cervical cancer (CC) and human papillomavirus (HPV) infection. To measure the uptake of the cervical cancer screening test (Pap smear) and the uptake of HPV vaccination, and determine the influencing factors.Methods: 444 women with no medical background filled out a 32 item questionnaire. Collected data was analyzed in SPSS® v. 21.0. Results: 45.7% aged 18 to 25with high education qualifications (73.9%) and employed in a field not related to health (84.9%). They did not visit a general physician (64%) or a gynecologist (64.6%) regularly. 85.6% were aware of CC with a median CC symptom knowledge score of 3.00 ± 2.13. HPV infection involvement in the pathogenesis of CC was identified in 53.9% of cases. 35.6% of women were aware of HPV infection. The median HPV general knowledge score was 5.39 ± 2.38 and the median HPV vaccination score was 6.00 ± 2.41. 37.6% of participants had been screened by Pap smear for CC at least once in their lives whereas 9% did not know what a Pap smear was. Screening was significantly associated with CC awareness and regular visits to physicians. Only 11.7% of participants aged 18 to 35 were vaccinated against HPV. Vaccination uptake was significantly associated with CC awareness, religion, field of work and studies, and regular visits to gynecologists. Conclusion: Lebanese women residing in the urban communities are not well informed about CC and HPV. Screening by Pap smear and HPV vaccination uptakes are non-satisfactory.


El Hadji Seydou Mbaye
El HadjiSeydou Mbaye,1International Agency for Research on Cancer, France
Title: Human Papillomavirus Infection in genitalWomen in four regions of Senegal

Biography: Dr.El Hadji Seydou Mbaye was born in 1978 in Kaolack a region of Senegal. During 2008-2013, he earned his PhD in Biology and Human Pathologies with the collaboration of the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) /WHO, Lyon (France); 2006-2007 : Master of Life and Health, Specialty Biology of microorganisms, Virology in Louis Pasteur University of Strasbourg (France); 2005-2006 : Master of Life and Health, option of Immuno-physiopathology in Louis Pasteur University of Strasbourg (France); 2004-2005 : License of Biochemistry in Louis Pasteur University of Strasbourg (France); 2002-2004 : General Degree in Sciences and Technologies in University of METZ (France).

Abstract: Cervical cancer is the most frequent cancer among women in Senegal. However, there are few data concerning the HPV types inducing neoplasia and cervical cancers and their prevalence, in the general population of Senegal AIMS: The aim of this study is to determine the prevalence of HPV infection in Senegalese women aged from 18 years and older. MATERIALS AND METHODS: A study was performed on 498 cervix samples collected from healthy women aged 18 and older in Dakar. 438 other samples were collected from three other regions, Thiès, Saint Louis and Louga. The samples were screened for 21 HPV genotypes using an HPV type-specific E7 PCR bead-based multiplex genotyping assay (TS-MPG) which is a laboratory-developed method for the detection of HPV. RESULTS: The prevalence for pHR/HR-HPV in the region of Dakar was 20.68%. HPV 52 (3.21%) was the most prevalent HPV type, followed by HPV 16 (3.01%) and HPV 31 (3.01%). In the regions of Thiès, Louga and Saint Louis, the prevalence for pHR/HR-HPV was 29.19%, 23.15% and 20%, respectively CONCLUSION: The study revealed the specificity of the HR-HPV prevalence in Dakar and other regions of Senegal. The patterns differs from the one observed in the other regions of the world and rise the issue of the development of vaccination program in the country. Such a program should take into account the real HPV prevalence for an effective protection of HPV-associated diseases.


Mohammad Hossein Yazdi
Mohammad Hossein Yazdi,Tehran University of Medical Sciences,iran
Title: Evaluation of Immunomodulatory Effect of Oral Administration of Aloe-Vera Extracted Polysaccharides on the Immunization Profile of TC1 Cancer Bearing Mice with and without E7d Vaccine

Biography: Mohammad Hossein Yazdi got his PhD in the field of Pharmaceutical Biotechnology by 2014 from Tehran University of Medical Sciences, School of Pharmacy. His PhD work was about cancer treatment in particular by immunotherapy. He is now Assistant Professor at Biotechnology Research Center and Recombinant Vaccine Research Center of Tehran University of Medical Sciences and pursues his interest in both vaccine and immunotherapy of cancer and infectious diseases. He has published more than 40 papers in reputed journals and has been serving as senior lecturer of advanced immunology and immunotherapy at Tehran University of Medical Sciences.

Abstract: In this work, the effect of oral administration of Aloe vera extracted polysaccharides was investigated on the immunization profile of E7d Vaccine. Mannose containing polysaccharide in Aloe Vera mucilage absorbed after oral feeding of mice and remained unchanged in the blood stream. Subsequently it can actas as an immunomodulator which is induced both TH1 and TH2 immune response 60 C57BL/6 mice were divided into six groups as follow: Group 1, E7d-ALUM-GEL; Group 2, E7d-ALUM; Group 3, E7d-MONTANID –GEL; Group 4, E7d-MONTANID; Group 5 and Group 6, CONTROL-GEL and PBS respectively. The oral feeding of aloe vera gel with 0.05% poly saccharide was done for a period of 30 days. Mice were immunized with E7d vaccine three times on day 0, 14 and 28th. Then tumor was implanted subcoutaneosly and 2 weeks later, the serum samples of the mice were collected to evaluate the cytokines and antibodies levels by ELISA assay. Immunization of mice with E7d-ALUM-GEL significantly increased the IFN-γ and IL-4 immune response levels in comparison to other vaccinated groups. Meanwhile, analysis of humoral immune responses represented a not worthy increasment of IgG1 level in E7d-MONTANID-Gel group in comparison to E7d-montanid group. It is important to mentioned that control gel group showed an increase in the ratio of IFN γ/ IL-4 in comparison to other groups. The group which was received just aloe vera gel demonstrated the greatest reduction in proportion of tumor growth. Result of survival rate was best in E7d –ALUM-GEL and CONTROL GEL groups. Whereasmannose containing plant compounds like acemannan and glucomannan induces both TH1 and TH2 immune responses, perhaps it can be used as an adjuvant element without serious concern about the toxicity.