Day 1 :
- Pediatric infectious disease, Perinatology, Neonatology, Pediatric Endocrinology
University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa
Dr Francesca Maraschin is a South African medical doctor who spent 4 years working in public hospitals in Johannesburg before deciding to pursue a masters at the University of Oxford where she studied International Health and Tropical Medicine. Her interests are in global child health and improving the wellbeing of children in low- and middle-income countries. In her most recent position as a research assistant with Oxford’s Nuffield Department of Medicine, she has been working on two scoping reviews outlining specific topics on the needs of neonates in low-resource settings.
Echinococcus is a tapeworm that causes hydatid disease. Cystic echinococcosis, caused by Echinococcus granulosus, is a condition endemic to South Africa, particularly in sheep-farming areas such as the Eastern Cape. Patients may present with a variety of symptoms and complications, including spontaneous cyst rupture and subsequent anaphylaxis which may prove to be fatal. Treatment methods may be medical or surgical. We report the case of an 11-year-old boy who was treated medically for pulmonary hydatid disease and subsequently presented with spontaneous cyst rupture and anaphylaxis, resulting in the need for surgical resection of the cyst.
Mamuka Kotetishvili’s main expertise lies in the areas of molecular epidemiology and evolution of infectious agents including foodborne and zoonotic pathogens. Currently, his primary occupation is a leading of the biomedical research, working in a capacity of Deputy Director of Science and Foreign Relations, at the G. Natadze Scientific-Research Institute of Sanitary, Hygiene, and Medical Ecology (GNHI), Tbilisi, Georgia. Mamuka Kotetishvili has pioneered his research on the molecular typing of some important foodborne and other pathogens, including, but not limited to, Salmonella enteritidis, Listeria monocytogenes, Vibrio Cholerae, and the species of Yersinia. His most recent studies have provided some important insights into the evolution of bacteriophages and antimicrobial resistance. Mamuka Kotetishvili has served as an Editorial Board Member and/or an Ad-hoc Reviewer for various internationally well-respected scientific journals including Journal of Clinical Microbiology, Journal of Bacteriology, and Journal of Virology.
Statement of the Problem: The deciphering of new genomic features of Clostridium tetani causing tetanus is critical to our better understanding of this disease molecular epidemiology, threatening especially neonates and children. Here, we report on a unique C. tetani strain isolated from a retail fish market in India, carrying in its genome the eukaryotic DNA. Methodology & Theoretical Orientation: This strain genome sequence (GenBank ID: CP027782.1) was available in the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) nucleotide database. Using the Basic Local Alignment Search Tool (BLAST), in the same database, we searched for eukaryotic homologs of the genetic loci of the above strain. SplitsTree and RDP4 were applied respectively for recombination and phylogenetic analyses. Findings: We could identify the 1176-bp genomic region of the C. tetani strain that shared 99.83 % of the DNA identity with those of several eukaryotic organisms of plant origin (Fig. 1), being associated with 18S ribosomal RNA, or long non-coding RNAs, or hypothetical proteins.
Fig. 1. The Neighbor-joining tree, showing the genetic relationships between the BLAST-identified organisms, and DNA identity statistics for their homologs in respect to the 1176-bp genomic region of the C. tetani strain.
As shown, no respective DNA homology of the above region could be found in the bacterial species genomes, with a very few exceptions represented by a single strain. The splits decomposition analysis could identify genetic recombination events displayed by a single parallelogram (Fit: 100; bootstrap values: 62.7-64.3 for the nodes), being shared by C. tetani and several eukaryotes such as P. pretense, S. bicolor, S. officinarum, P. hallii, and P. pretense. The RDP4 PHI test-generated p value was 0.00001.
Conclusion & Significance: C. tetani appears to have the ability to acquire certain eukaryotic DNA of plant origin. It is highly imperative to determine whether in the above C. tetani strain genome, the 1176-bp genomic region serves as a functional domain associated with its virulence, pathogenicity, and/or environmental persistence.
Florida Atlantic University, USA
Dr. Peter Averkiou is a pediatrician and an Associate Professor of Pediatrics at the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine at Florida Atlantic University. He is the Co-Director of the four Foundations of Medicine Courses, the Director of the Service Learning Projects, the Director of the Newborn Nursery Clinical Rotation and the Director of the Synthesis and Transition Course at the medical school.
The Newborn Nursery Clinical Experience is an innovative, early exposure for medical students to the hospital setting and family medicine. Early in their second year, our medical students are immersed into the Newborn Nursery, while also experiencing the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) and attending obstetrical deliveries. They witness, first hand, the interprofessional and interdisciplinary workings of pediatricians, obstetricians, neonatologists, anesthesiologists, nurses and other professionals. The medical students are also instructed on how to read a medical chart and on proper medical documentation and its importance. They also interact with the mother of the patient, as well as other family members that are in attendance, and long-term continuity of integrated care and the focus on the personal patient/patient’s guardian(s) - physician relationship is stressed. This experience is always well-received and highly evaluated by our medical students. It also helps to prepare them for their third-year clinical rotations in family medicine, pediatrics and Ob/Gyn.
- Pediatric Surgery, Pediatric Nutrition and Breast Feeding