Dr Igor Mokrousov, head of laboratory of molecular epidemiology and evolutionary genetics took part in 14th International Conference on Molecular Epidemiology and Evolutionary Genetics of Infectious Diseases (MEEGID XIV), 6-9 November 2018, Sitges, Catalonia, Spain.
The conference was attended by 160 researchers, mainly from Europe, South America, Africa and Asia. Russia was represented by 9 scientists from St. Petersburg Pasteur Institute, Central institute for epidemiology, Sechenov Medical University, RAS institutes. They presented 1 plenary lecture (Dr Mokrousov) and 7 oral presentations.
In his plenary lecture “Massive human migration and spread of epidemic Mycobacterium tuberculosis strains”, Dr Mokrousov presented his work on emerging clones of M. tuberculosis and the role of human migration and demography in their spread (the study was supported by Russian Science Foundation, grant 14-14-00292).
Dr Mokrousov has also participated in the Editors’ meeting for the journal Infection, Genetics and Evolution published by Elsevier. Current issues on the development of the journal and maintaining its high level were discussed.
The work of the congress included plenary sessions and parallel symposia. In general, one can note the general trend in the development of research from molecular to genomic epidemiology and the use of GIS and bioinformatic approaches and, in general, the introduction of systems biology methods.
The non-exhaustive list of the invited talks includes the following: Antibiotic resistant septicemic E. coli; Vector population genetics; Selection imposed by pathogens and archaic introgression have shaped the human immune system; Understanding pathogenesis of infectious disease through analyses of host genetic risk factors; Computational approaches to microbiome characterization and infectious disease dynamics; Molecular epidemiology and evolution in the human immunodeficiency virus; Viral phylodynamics: From ancient evolutionary histories to contemporary outbreaks; Massive human migration and spread of epidemic Mycobacterium tuberculosis strains; Recent insights into the evolutionary history of arenaviruses; Tuberculosis molecular evolution: The quest of the Grail?
Two of the symposia focused on M. tuberculosis and some of the presentations can be noted: Genomic determinants of sympatric speciation of the mycobacterium tuberculosis complex across evolutionary timescales; Classification of mixed mycobacterium tuberculosis infections from WGS data; DNA sequencing complements variable number of tandem repeats typing methods for mycobacterium tuberculosis Bayesian phylogeny inference; Genomics of mycobacterium tuberculosis to investigate the ecology and evolution of the M. tuberculosis complex; Next-Generation sequencing approaches and implementation considerations for diagnosis and surveillance of drug-resistant tuberculosis.
Possible collaborative projects on mycobacteria and tuberculosis were discussed with participants from Spain, France, Italy, Argentina, Peru, Panama, Thailand that can be focused in epidemic clones of mycobacteria, the dynamics of their circulation and the driving forces of their spread in Russia and Europe. In particular, foreign colleagues were invited to take part in the International Conference "Molecular Basis for Epidemiology, Diagnosis, Prevention and Treatment of Actual Infections", dedicated to the 110th anniversary of the St. Petersburg Pasteur Institute, including the Symposium on Tuberculosis and Mycobacteria (chaired by Dr Mokrousov), 4-6 December 2018.
A preliminary decision was taken to hold the next MEEGID congress in Guangzhou, China, in 2020.
Reference: Congresses on Molecular Epidemiology and Evolutionary Genetics of Infectious Diseases (MEEGID) have been held since 1996, in the last 15 years once every two years, and are recognized scientific events in the field of multidisiplinary studies of pathogens and their co-adaptation and co-evolution with the host organism. Particular attention is paid to the issues of parasitology, virology and mycobacteriology.
Program of the conference is available at: https://www.elsevier.com/events/conferences/meegid.
Abstracts are available at: https://elsevier.conference-services.net/secureProgrammeLogin.asp?conferenceID=4205 (Username: MEEGIDXIV, Password: MEEG2018).