Scientific Program

Conference Series Ltd invites all the participants across the globe to attend 10th World Congress on Virology and Mycology Singapore.

Day 1 :

  • Vaccines and Antiviral Drugs
Speaker
Biography:

Dr. PR Raghavan is the CEO and Founder of Nanorx Inc in New York, USA. He has a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from Oregon State University (1979) and a M.S. in Chemistry (1972) from I.I.T. Mumbai, India. He has worked on drug discovery for over 25 years at Columbia University, Max-Planck Institute, Germany, Ciba-Geigy (now Novartis) and Boehringer Ingelheim. He has over 12 approved patents and another 15 pending patent applications.

Abstract:

Metadichol (US Patent 8,722,093) is a Nano emulsion of long-chain alcohols found in many foods. It is commonly called Policosanol and is present in foods such as rice, sugar cane, wheat, and peanuts. Metadichol acts on Nuclear Vitamin D receptors (VDR) (US Patent 9,006,292) that are present in cells throughout the body to stimulate the immune system and inhibit a variety of disease processes, resulting from viral infection.

We tested for antiviral activity of Metadichol® in Vero and MDCK cells infected with Influenza A, H1N1, Human Respiratory Syncytial virus, Dengue, Chikungunya and. Ebola, Marburg. In addition, we tested the efficacy of Metadichol® in preventing cell death caused by Adenovirus, Tacaribe Mammarena virus, Rift Valley Fever virus, SARS coronavirus, Japanese Encephalitis virus, West Nile virus, and Yellow Fever virus.  In the in vitro assays, Metadichol showed no cytotoxicity and strongly inhibited cell death caused by each of the viruses tested.

Studies with Zucker diabetic rats showed it was an effective ICAM-1 and TNF-alpha and NFKB-1 inhibitor. ICAM-1 is the same receptor molecule used by the vast majority of bacteria and viruses.

Infectious diseases kill more people worldwide than any other single cause. They represent a major health problem, both regarding morbidity and mortality.  Infectious diseases are disorders caused by pathogens

Metadichol is a safe and effective inhibitor of enveloped viruses in humans. Since it is known to bind to the vitamin D receptor (VDR) (US Patent 9,006,292), its mechanism of action likely involves the competitive displacement of virus particles from VDR’s on host cell membranes. Because it consists of natural components of common foods and has no known negative side effects, Metadichol has the potential to serve as a novel, broad-spectrum antiviral treatment for Dengue, Ebola, Zika, H1N1, SARS, Chikungunya and other enveloped viruses. 

Speaker
Biography:

Dr Ganesh .S.A  has been working in the field of HIV/AIDS since 2006 in India .Has worked as Tamil nadu State AIDS Control (TANSACS) STI medical officer , ART medical officer and HIV Community care centre medical officer . After undergraduation , completed his fellowship in HIV Medicine from Government Hospital of Thoracic Medicine (GHTM), Tambaram ,  which is a centre of excellence for HIV treatment , care and support in India. Has been selected as best outgoing fellow and worked as chief fellow in International Training and Education Centre for Health , India. Subsequently completed his MD in Community Medicine from Sree Balaji Medical College and Hospital (SBMCH) , Bharath University,  Chennai. He was the first person as principal investigator  to study about discordant response to ART in patients  enrolled in a Government programme in India. Has done International Presentations of his research work in Africa , UK , India , France , and in USA with many publications .Has been nominated by GHTM and SBMCH for the SAARC Prize on HIV/AIDS 2016  pertaining to his contributions in HIV research . His area of research interest are discordant response to ART , virology , Quality of life , clinical immunology and public health . Currently  involved in HIV research , undergraduate & postgraduate teaching , incharge of free medical camp activities , guiding PhD candidates , conducting conferences , CME , and Public health awareness programmes  in SBMCH as an assistant professor in community medicine department .  

Abstract:

Statement of the Problem : Effective ART generally results in immune reconstitution with increased CD4 and virologic suppression with undetectable HIV viral load (VL) . However a major concern regarding ART is when there is a discordant response between CD4 count and the viral load . There are two types of discordant responses : Immunological failure  (decrease in CD4 count) despite VL suppression or immune reconstitution (increase in CD4 count) despite VL failure . Interestingly both types of discordant responses to ART are related to AIDS defining events and mortality .

Discussion : The discordant response to ART is still a grey area in HIV research .Several studies done around the world have shown the prevalence of discordance ranging from 8% to more than 20% .Several causes attributed for discordant response were Zidovudine based regimen , Protease inhibitors , older age , younger median age , lower baseline CD4 count , associated opportunistic infections and baseline viral loads. The wide differences in prevalence of discordance can be attributed to several factors including different criteria for immunological response  , virologic suppression , sample size , variation in time to failure , ethnic background and importantly different types of ART regimens. We also recommend the global HIV related authorities to implement uniform guidelines for immunological and virological response  , so that the wide difference attributed to the prevalence of discordance can be assessed and decided whether it is a true difference in prevalence .These discordant groups need to be carefully monitored for opportunistic infections and more studies are needed as to ways to improve the immunologic response in these patients and also to find out the exact cause of discordance . Further studies like exploring the genetic sequencing of this discordant group is required .

Speaker
Biography:

Dr. Zhaocai Zhou obtained his Ph.D. degree in University of Science and Technology of China, 2004; and received his postdoctoral training in Brandeis University, and University of Pennsylvania, USA, 2004–2008. He joined the Institute of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences in 2009, and become a professor of ShanghaiTech University in 2015. His primary research interest is to understand the signaling mechanism of tumorigenesis and tumor-related immune regulation. His recent work focuses on Hippo/MST signaling pathway and macrophage plasticity.

Abstract:

 

RIG-I is a well-studied sensor of viral RNA that plays a key role in innate immunity. p97 regulates a variety of cellular events such as protein quality control, membrane reassembly, DNA repair, and the cell cycle. Here, we report a new role for p97 with Npl4-Ufd1 as its cofactor in reducing antiviral innate immune responses by facilitating proteasomal degradation of RIG-I. The p97 complex is able to directly bind both non-ubiquitinated RIG-I and the E3 ligase RNF125, promoting K48-linked ubiquitination of RIG-I at residue K181. Viral infection significantly strengthens the interaction between RIG-I and the p97 complex by a conformational change of RIG-I that exposes the CARDs and through K63-linked ubiquitination of these CARDs. Disruption of the p97 complex enhances RIG-I antiviral signaling. Consistently, administration of compounds targeting p97 ATPase activity was shown to inhibit viral replication and protect mice from vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) infection. Overall, our study uncovered a previously unrecognized role for the p97 complex in protein ubiquitination and revealed the p97 complex as a potential drug target in antiviral therapy.

                                                                                             

  • Neurovirology

Session Introduction

Amita Jain

King George's Medical University, India

Title: Etiology of acute encephalitis cases in Bihar, India
Speaker
Biography:

Dr Amita Jain is a multifaceted medical teacher who has contributed immensely in the field of microbiology. She has worked in many areas of medical microbiology including Tuberculosis, Bacteriology and virology. She is a keen researcher and has successfully completed many research and public health projects and published several papers, some of which are highly cited. She has guided 24 PhD students and have provided guidance to many undergraduate and postgraduate students. She has established new diagnostic and research facilities, which are of immense help to medical students, researchers and patients. She has investigated several epidemics of swine flu, dengue, Acute encephalitis, hepatitis, drug resistant TB etc. She has provided diagnostic services to Uttar Pradesh state health services in the field of virology and tuberculosis. She has organized trainings for laboratorians and community awareness health programs. 

Abstract:

Statement of the Problem: Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) is a major seasonal public health problem in many states of India including Bihar. The total numbers of reported AES cases and deaths from Bihar were 1358 and 355 respectively in 2014. Despite efforts of the Bihar health department and the Government of India, burden and mortality of AES cases has not decreased, and definitive etiologies for these illnesses have yet to be identified. The present study was undertaken to study the specific etiology of AES in Bihar. Methodology & Theoretical Orientation: Cerebrospinal fluid and/or serum samples from AES patients were collected and tested for various pathogens including viruses and bacteria by ELISA and/or Real Time PCR. Findings: Of 540 enrolled patients, 33.3% (180) tested positive for at least one pathogen of which 23.3% were co-positive for more than one pathogen. O. tsutsugamushi was the most common etiology (25%) followed by Japanese Encephalitis Virus (8.1%), West Nile Virus (6.8%), Dengue Virus (6.1%), and Chikungunya Virus (4.5%). M. tuberculosis and S. pneumoniae each was detected in ~ 1% cases. H. influenzae, adenovirus, Herpes Simplex Virus -1, enterovirus, and measles virus, each was detected occasionally. The presence of Scrub typhus was confirmed by PCR and sequencing. Bihar strains resembled Gilliam like strains from Thailand, Combodia and Vietnam. Most of the patients were referred from Patna and its surrounding districts. Of the 15 districts referring >10 cases, eleven showed overall high positivity (>30% positives), three districts showed moderate positivity (>20- 30%) and one (Muzzafarpur) showed low positivity (10%) (p value=0.0014, Chi square=13.14) Conclusion & Significance: The highlights of this pilot AES study from Bihar were detection of an infectious etiology in one third of the AES cases, multiple etiologies, and emergence of O. tsutsugamushi infection as an important causative agent of AES in Bihar.

Parul Jain

King George’s Medical University, India

Title: Etiology of acute encephalitis cases in Uttar Pradesh, India
Speaker
Biography:

Parul Jain is MD in Microbiology and has specialized in virology. She has keen interest in research, academics and patient management. She has several publications in peer reviewed national and international journals. She is a reviewer of several international journals. The present study is based on several years of experience in serological and molecular techniques combined with the clinical expertise.

Abstract:

Statement of the Problem: Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) is reported from all over the world. In India, it has been estimated that a population of 375 million people residing in 17 states are at a risk of acquiring AES. Uttar Pradesh (UP), a north Indian state, bears a disease burden of 70%. Therefore, the aim of this study was to know the common etiologic agents of AES and their epidemiologic characteristics in the vicinity of Lucknow, UP, India. Methodology & Theoretical Orientation: Patients presenting with clinical diagnosis of AES whose serum and/or CSF samples were available were enrolled in the study over a four year period, from January 2013 to December 2016. The samples were tested by various ELISAs and PCRs for viruses and bacteria. Findings: Total 1044, 1155, 1658 and 1207 AES cases were enrolled in the years 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 respectively. Consistently, Scrub typhus was the most common etiology detected (mean: 31.7%), followed by Japanese encephalitis virus (mean: 10.5%), Dengue virus (mean: 7.8%), and Measles virus (mean: 5.8%). Herpes Simplex virus, Varicella Zoster virus, Enteroviruses, H. influenzae, and S. pneumoniae were found in <1% cases. N. meningitides was not detected in any case.  A month wise analysis showed that AES cases were reported throughout the year with a dip in the number of cases during February and March. Similarly, anti-DV IgM was detected throughout the year but with a small peak during August through October. Anti-JEV IgM and anti scrub typhus IgM showed a distinct seasonality with maximum number of cases being observed during monsoon and post monsoon season.  Conclusion & Significance: Arboviruses and scrub typhus contribute to maximum number of AES cases in North India.

 

Speaker
Biography:

Shantanu Prakash is PhD in field of virology and infectious diseases. He is basically involved with research, academics and in academics, research and patient management. He has more than 25 publications, four patents and thousands of sequences submitted on NCBI of different viruses and bacteria and has been involved in many intramural and extramural projects. He has experience in the field of designing molecular diagnostics assay for infectious diseases, molecular characterization & whole genome sequencing of different viruses. Right now he is involved extensively on epidemiology & surveillance of AES in northern India with focus of newer emerging and reemerging pathogens. The present study is based on several years of experience in serological and molecular techniques.

Abstract:

Statement of the Problem: Japanese Encephalitis Virus (JEV) is the principal cause of vaccine preventable encephalitis in India, with an annual incidence of 1714 to 6594 cases and mortality of 367 to 1665 individuals. The mainstay of diagnosis of JEV is serological, which has certain limitations. The present study was designed to study the additional diagnostic value of Real Time-PCR in detection of JEV and to study the appropriate sample for serological diagnosis. Methodology & Theoretical Orientation: Serum and CSF samples from AES cases referred to virology laboratory were enrolled in the study. All the samples were tested for anti-JEV IgM antibodies by ELISA (Mac ELISA kit by National Institute of Virology, Pune, India) and for Real Time PCR for JEV- RNA. Findings: Total 217 patients were enrolled over a one year period during August 2015 to July 2016 of which 64 tested positive for JEV. Anti JE IgM antibody was positive in 34 (53.1%) cases from both CSF and serum, 19 (29.7%) from CSF only and 9 (14.1%) from serum only. Real Time-PCR was positive in one serum and one CSF sample, which were negative by ELISA. Maximum cases (33.6%) were positive when tested on >3rd to 7th day of illness. The most commonly affected age group by JEV was >5 to 15 years and male to female ratio was 2.2:1. The common clinical symptoms present were seizure 52(81.2%), altered sensorium 60 (93.8%), vomiting 24 (37.5%) and headache 10 (15.6%). JEV infection was associated with a high mortality (n=21, 32.8%) and residual disability (n=10, 17.2%) (Relative risk: 1.38 and 2.83 respectively). Conclusion & Significance: viremia in JE infection is short lived and therefore Real Time - PCR is not useful for increasing case detections in endemic areas. Detecting antibody in both serum and CSF is the best combination.

 

  • Oncogenic Virus
Speaker
Biography:

Dr.J.Joonu has completed her PhD at the age of 31years from Bharathidasan university, Tiruchirappalli. She is working as Asst Prof, Dept of Zoology, Bishop Heber College in the permanent (aided) post. She has 8 years of teaching experience. She has published more than 8 papers in scopus indexed journals like AJMBES, & other international  reputed journals and has six Nucleotide sequences in the GenBank. She has also presented many papers in the national conferences. She has received best paper award in the national conference. Her field of interest are environmental microbiology.

Abstract:

Viruses account for about 20% of total human cancer cases. Although many viruses can cause various tumors in animals, only seven of them are associated with human cancers and are currently considered oncogenic viruses. These viruses include hepatitis B virus (HBV), hepatitis C virus (HCV), human papillomavirus (HPV), Epstein Barr virus (EBV), human herpes virus 8 (HHV8), Merkel cell polyomavirus (MCPyV), and HTLV-1. High-risk HPV strains are the major causes of cervical cancer and other ano-genital neoplasms as well as a significant proportion of head and neck tumors.

The molecular mechanisms of viral oncogenesis are complex and may involve the induction of chronic inflammation, disruption of host genetic and epigenetic integrity and homeostasis..

The push to vaccinate girls in the age of 9:

HPV is recognized by mainstream medical authorities as the most commonly sexually transmitted infection in the US with an estimated 20 million persons infected and over 6 million new infections annually.  Merck, the maker of the HPV vaccine Gardasil, presented information to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) prior to approval that their vaccine increased the risk of pre-cancerous changes by 44.6% in women exposed to HPV types 16 or 18 pre-vaccination. HPV vaccines have been shown to prevent cervical dysplasia . The protection against HPV 16 and 18 has lasted at least 8 years after vaccination for Gardasil and more than 9 years for Cervarix.

  • Viral Hepatitis
Speaker
Biography:

Dr. Limin Chen, a professor with the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences (CAMS) and Peking Union Medical College (PUMC)and also an affiliated scientist with the University of Toronto, now is the director and chief scientific officer of the center for transfusion transmitted diseases, Institute of Blood Transfusion (IBT), CAMS/PUMC, Member of the American Association for Studies of Liver Diseases (AASLD) and Canadian Association for Studies of Liver (CASL). He obtained his MD, MSc in biochemistry and molecular biology in China, PhD in molecular genetics at the University of Toronto. Dr. Chen obtained his postdoctoral training both at the Merck Research Laboratories and at the Harvard Medical School . Currently Dr. Chen’s research focuses on the virus-host interaction of the hepatitis viruses, especially HCV.  He pioneered the work on identification of the response signature and proposed a novel mechanism on how HCV exploits host innate immune response to benefit its persistent infection and resistance to interferon-based therapy.

Abstract:

Hepatitis viruses, including Hepatitis B virus (HBV) and Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infect human liver leading to chronic infections that gradually develop into cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Current treatment regimen includes interferon and nucleotide analogues (NAs). Although direct acting anti-viral agents (DAAs) clear the virus in more than 95% individuals chronically infected with HCV, pegylated interferon is still widely used in many asia countries. Unfortunately, not all patients chronically infected with HCV respond to pegylated interferon/ribavirin combination therapy.  As such, understanding the molecular mechanisms of interferon resistance of HCV and HBV is essential for better management of patients. Based on gene expresion profiling, we identified an 18-gene response signature that can be used to predict whether a given patients will respond to interterferon-based therapy with an accuracy of 96%. A novel ubiquitin-like ISG15/USP18 signaling pathway was also identifed to be involved in interferon resistance in both HCV and HBV infections. A series of functional studies onISG15 and USP18 genes revealed the detailed molecualr  mechanisms of interferon resistance of HBV and HCV. Data from our studies indicated that ISG15(and ISG15 conjugation-the process called ISGylation)  stimulated HCV replication and potentiated the interferon anti-HCV activity. Silencing of USP18 boosts the antiviral activity of interferon against hepatitis C virus infection through activation of the Jak/STAT signaling  in vitro HCV culture (HCVcc) model.

  • Molecular and Genomic Virology
Speaker
Biography:

Dr Amresh Kumar Singh, MD has expertise in different discipline of clinical microbiology and infectious diseases evaluation and passion in improving the health and wellbeing of people living in Eastern UP, India. He has a published many national as well international journals, teaching experience to MBBS student, B Sc. (Nursing), M Sc. (Microbiology) and MD. Participated in project for detection of antimicrobial resistance in Gram negative bacilli, and Gram positive coccilike, ESBLs, AmpC, MBLs, MRSA, VRE etc. Diagnostic Mycobacteriology (culture and antimicrobial sensitivity techniques including culture on standard media, BacT/ALERT® 3D system, Mycobacteria growth indicator tube (MGIT) and Mycobacterium tuberculosis direct detection methods)  Antimicrobial susceptibility testing in M. tuberculosis complex (MTBC) and NTM (conventional and DNA-based methods) like line probe assay and mutational study.  Virology- Especially in Dengue virus, HIV, Enteroviruses (AES), viral encephalitis, acute hemorrhagic viral infection for their diagnosis. Tissue culture techniquesfor isolation and identification of different medically important viruses for PCR (conventional, nested, Real-time RT-PCR), DNA sequencing, spoligotyping, pulse-field gel electrophoresis etc. 

Abstract:

Statement of the Problem: Dengue is one of the most serious mosquito borne viral infection and in India it has dramatically expanded over the last few decades, with rapidly changing epidemiology. The spectrum of manifestations is ranging from asymptomatic/mild to dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF), to a shock syndrome (DSS).

Recent research shows there is a clear shift in Dengue virus (DENV) having mortality (0.5–3.5%) in DENV-2. So this study was conducted to know the prevalence of Dengue by different methods, serotypes and it’s impact in epidemiology, mortality in UP, India.

Methodology & Theoretical Orientation: Prospectively designed study was performed and all laboratory records were analyzed. Blood samples were tested for dengue NS1 antigen, IgM antibodies, and nucleic acid detection by; Dengue Early NS1 enzyme linked immune sorbent assay (ELISA), IgM capture ELISA, and real time reverse transcriptase PCR (RT-PCR), respectively. Descriptive statistics were used and data were expressed in proportions. Nested RT-PCR was performed for serotyping.

Findings: Out of total 863 samples tested, 203 (23.52%) were found positive for dengue virus infection by combination of different methods with male preponderance (65%). Seasonal trend showed a gradual increase; started from July with a peak in September (34.5%). The most common presentation was fever (97%), only 1% cases presented with haemorrhagic manifestations. Out of a total of 203 cases, 176 (86.7%) patients had fever, 16 (7.9%) DHF and 11 (5.4%) had DSS. 

Dengue IgG prevalence increased with age, with the lowest (16.3%) in <20 years and the highest (78.3%) in 20-40 years. The range of platelet count was; 1,69,000-11000/cumm.

A total of 189/863 (21.9%) specimens were positive for NS1, 64/863 (7.4%) for IgM and 177/863 (20.5%) positive by nested RT-PCR.  Of 203 positive cases, maximum serotypes was 123 (60.6%) for DENV-2 and mixed serotypes in 06 (2.96%) patients. Mortality was seen in 15 cases (7.4%), with maximum occurring in 2016.

Conclusion & Significance: Dengue has established its transmission and high prevalence (23.52%) in UP with predominantly affecting adult males and preponderance by DENV-2 virus (60.6%). This study thus emphasizes the need for continuous sero-epidemiological diagnosis/surveillance for effective dengue control in India.

  • Mycology and its diversity
Biography:

I am Sundar khadka and i have completed M.Sc. (Microbiology) from Institue of Medicine (IOM), Tribhuvan University Teaching Hopsital, Nepal. I am currently working as Microbiologist at HIV Reference Unit, National Public Health Laboratory, Nepal. I have published paper on HIV drug resistance, dermatophyte infection etc.

Abstract:

Candida species are responsible for various clinical infections ranging from mucocutaneous infection to life threating invasive diseases. Identification of candida up to species level and its antifungal susceptibility testing has paramount significance in the management of candidal infections. CHROM agar media can be reliably used for speciation of Candida isolates which helps to rapid identification of Candida species. The objective of the present study was to determine different species of Candida from various clinical specimens and to determine antifungal susceptibility pattern of candida species to four antifungal agents namely ketoconazole, fluconzole, miconazole, and clotrimazole. A total of 100 consecutive Candida isolates from various clinical samples were studied. Growths on Sabouraud’s Dextrose Agar were evaluated for colony appearance, macroscopic examination, gram staining, germ tube test and urea hydrolysis test. They were further processed for Candida speciation on CHROM agar. Different species of Candida were differentiated based on type of growth and color of isolates on CHROM agar media. Antifungal susceptibility testing was performed and interpreted for all the isolates using disc diffusion method as recommended by Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute (CLSI) M44-A document. Out of 100 Candida isolates, Candida albicans(56%) was the most common species. Among the non-albicans candida (NAC), Candida tropicalis(20%) was the commonest isolate followed by Candida glabrata(14%) and Candia krusei(10%) respectively. Overall susceptibility pattern of Candida species to clotrimazole found to be more sensitive (82%) followed by fluconazole (64%), miconazole (44%) respectively whereas ketoconazole was found to be more resistance (86%).Candida albicans was the predominant species responsible for various candidal infections. Among commonly used antifungal drugs clotrimazole, miconazole and fluconazole showed high sensitivity while ketoconazole was the least effective for both albicans and non-albicans group. CHROM agar is a simple, rapid & inexpensive method for identification of Candida species and is suitable for clinical laboratory with limited resources.