Day 2 :
UCSI University, Malaysia
Keynote: Strep throat or sore throat: Towards good antibiotic appropriateness practices among general practitioners
Time : 9.30-10.15
Crystale Siew Ying LIM is currently an Associate Professor at UCSI University’s Faculty of Applied Sciences. She is also the Vice President of the Malaysian Society of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology (MSMBB). Crystale earned a BSc (Hons.) in Biomedical Sciences (2005) and a PhD in Molecular Medicine (2010), both from the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM). Crystale works on host-pathogen interactions, quorum-sensing inhibition, antibiotic resistance and dengue virus serotyping. She is a recipient of the John David Williams Memorial Award from the International Society of Chemotherapy in 2013 and is active in science education among schoolchildren. Currently, she is interested in antibiotic resistance in the general community and is the team leader of a project under the Antibiotics Resistance Awareness Stewardship of Malaysia to study antibiotic appropriateness in the private primary care setting.
Problem Statement: The rate and variety of antibiotic resistance has been increasing in recent years. Sore throat or acute pharyngitis (AP) is the most common reason for primary care consultations globally. Despite viruses being the major etiological agent in AP, antibiotics are commonly prescribed by general practitioners (GPs). Together with other resistance-acquisition pressures such as antibiotics in agricultural practices, inappropriate- or over-prescription of antibiotics has been a long-standing issue, particularly in primary care, which may risk the rise of antibiotic-resistant bacteria among the general community. From a Malaysian perspective, combating this growing problem requires the implementation of primary healthcare policies. Methodology: GPs were recruited as patient samplers, and given questionnaires on their diagnosis of AP among patients and antibiotic prescription practices. Throat swabs and patient questionnaires on antibiotic were collected from 205 patients diagnosed with AP from private clinics around the Klang Valley in Malaysia for viral nucleic acid isolation and bacterial culture. Reverse-transcription real-time PCR (qRT-PCR) was performed on the viral nucleic acids to detect the presence of four human respiratory viruses (adenovirus, rhinovirus, Influenza A and enterovirus) using virus-specific fluorescent hydrolysis probe chemistry. Single isolates of bacteria cultured on blood agar were screened for GABHS using matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionisation-time of flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS). Selected species were subjected to antibiotic-resistance screening. Conclusion & Significance: In conclusion, there appears to be over-prescription of antibiotics for a condition that is mainly viral in aetiology. This viral aetiology is supported in our study and is strengthened by the finding that most of these patients had low McIsaac scores. As such, the simple and zero-cost McIsaac score is a good predictor of viral pharyngitis. It would be prudent for healthcare professionals to utilize this scoring system as a first-line tool in viral or bacterial AP diagnosis to reduce antibiotic over-prescription.
Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China
Ya-Wen He obtained his Ph.D. from National University of Singapore in 2006, where he studied the DSF-dependent quorum sensing of phytopathogen Xanthomonas campestris pv. campestris (Xcc). He then worked as a research fellow at the Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology (IMCB), Singapore, where he extended his studies to hypoxia sensing in Xcc. In June of 2010, he joined Shanghai Jiao Tong University as a principal investigator. His lab is interested in: (1) Quorum sensing of plant pathogenic bacteria Xanthomonas and regulatory network of virulence factor production; (2) Functional genomics of plant growth promoting rhizobacteria Pseudomonas and development of novel biopesticide using the secondary metabolite.
Phenazines are important secondary metabolites that have been found to affect a broad spectrum of organisms. Two almost identical gene clusters phz1 and phz2 are responsible for phenazines biosynthesis in the rhizobacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa PA1201. Here we show that the transcriptional regulator RsaL is a potent repressor of phenazine-1-carboxylic acid (PCA) biosynthesis. RsaL negatively regulates phz1 expression and positively regulates phz2 expression via multiple mechanisms. First, RsaL binds to a 25-bp DNA region within the phz1 promoter to directly repress phz1 expression. Second, RsaL indirectly regulates the expression of both phz clusters by decreasing the activity of the las and pqs quorum sensing (QS) systems, and by promoting the rhl QS system. Finally, RsaL represses phz1 expression through the downstream transcriptional regulator CdpR. RsaL directly binds to the promoter region of cdpR to positively regulate its expression, and subsequently CdpR regulates phz1 expression in a negative manner. We also show that RsaL represents a new mechanism for the turnover of the QS signal molecule N-3-oxododecanoyl-homoserine lactone (3-oxo-C12-HSL). Overall, this study elucidates RsaL control of phenazines biosynthesis and indicates that a PA1201 strain harboring deletions in both the rsaL and cdpR genes could be used to improve the industrial production of PCA.
Monash University Malaysia
Dr. Learn-Han Lee, (PhD in Molecular Biology), male, Leader and Principle Investigator of Novel Bacteria and Drug Discovery Research Group (NBDD), School of Pharmacy, Monash University Malaysia. Dr. Lee was awarded the prestigious Professional Registers of Chartered Biologist (CBiol) from the Royal Society of Biology (RSB), UK in 2017. Currently, his research focuses on food safety and novel bacteria discovery and bio-prospecting of secondary metabolites with bioactive properties. He is the lifetime member of Bergey’s International Society for Microbial Systematics (BISMiS) and a Member of Royal Society of Biology (MRSB, UK). Furthermore he is the Chief Editor for Progress in Microbes and Molecular Biology (Inno Publisher, USA), and associate editor for Frontiers in Microbiology (IF: 4.165) and Frontiers in Pharmacology (IF: 4.418). Now he has 2 patents, and published 2 academic books, 3 book chapters and 81 international articles, with a total citation of 1124 and H-index of 19 (Google scholar citation). He has received 20 items of awards from various reputable institutions.
Cancer remains as one of the major economy burden globally, mainly due to aging and growth of the world population. Due to the repercussions of growing financial and economic costs in dealing with cancer, the search for more potent and effective drugs in healthcare has been prioritised to prevent and combat its occurrence. Microorganisms has been recognized as “mini-factories” which are capable of synthesizing interesting bioactive natural compounds with reasonable cost. The genus Streptomyces stands out in terms of manufacturing bioactive metabolites reserves. With commercial drugs such as doxorubicin and actinomycin which were derived from Streptomyces are widely accepted and still in use as drugs in clinical settings.