Showing posts with label Blastocystis. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Blastocystis. Show all posts

Thursday, July 1, 2021

Special Issue on Blastocystis in Frontiers

In the wake of the 3rd Int'l Blastocystis Conference (2-4 June, 2021), we're pleased that Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology (one of the sponsors of the conference) has launched a specific research topic:

"Putting Blastocystis on the Spot: Examining the Biology, Ecology and Epidemiology of a Controversial Gut Microbe"

Topic editors include Tasos, Eleni, Kevin, Funda, and myself. I personally hope to see and review some very interesting studies, and - in line with my thoughts in the previous blog post - I particularly hope  to see data on Blastocystis in en ecological context. 

Please go here for more information.

 

Tuesday, June 8, 2021

Wrap-up of 3rd International Blastocystis Conference

The 3rd International Blastocystis Conference took place Wednesday-Friday last week.

Organising committee:

  • Anastasios (Tasos) Tsaousis 
  • Eleni Gentekaki
  • Chr. Rune Stensvold
  • Funda Dogruman-Al

 Scientific committee:

  • Kevin S W Tan
  • Özgür Kurt
  • Eleni Gentekaki 
  • Chr. Rune Stensvold
  • Funda Dogruman-Al
  • Anastasios (Tasos) Tsaousis

 Sponsors included 

  • Microbiology Society
  • Biology - MDPI
  • PCR Biosystems

The conference was facilitated by Top Kinisis

The conference in numbers:

  •  3-day conference
  • 73 attendees
  • 29 countries represented
  • 66 abstracts
  • 38 oral presentations
  • 28 poster presentations
  • 265 tweets using #Blastocystis21 as hashtag
  • 3 awards

Awards:

Blastocystis Quiz Award: Mark van der Giezen (@MitoRem)

Poster Award: Adriana Marcela Higuera Gelvez (Draft genomes of Blastocystis isolates from human samples in Bogotá, Colombia)

Oral Presentation:

  • Winner: Jamie Newton (Investigating the metabolic fluctuations of the human gut during Blastocystis infection)
  • 1st runner-up: Lei Deng (Experimental colonization with Blastocystis ST4 is associated with protective immune response and modulation of gut microbiome in a DSS-induced colitis mouse model)
  • 2nd runner-up: Zuzana Lhotska and Vincent Billy (back-to-back presentations: Blastocystis colonization alters host immune response and gut microbiome, part a and b, respectively)

A special issue 'Putting Blastocystis on the Spot: Examining the Biology, Ecology and Epidemiology of a controversial gut microbe' has been launched in Frontiers. This Research Topic is linked to the conference. You can go here for more information.

The 4th International Blastocystis Conference is planned to take place in Chania, Crete, Greece in 2024.

Last, but not least a couple of screen capture impressions from the conference:



I will be back shortly with more updates from the conference.


R


Wednesday, May 5, 2021

The 3rd Blastocystis Conference will be AWESOME!

 Hi everyone,

We're currently going through the abstracts submitted for the upcoming Blastocystis conference, which will be held exclusively online.

The scientific quality of the abstracts is very high, and participants in this year's conference are in for a veritable treat! 

Expect important and potentially game-changing updates on host-pathogen interactions, cell biology and evolution, epidemiology, intestinal ecology, diagnosis and molecular characterisation.

Use this opportunity to obtain answers to all of your Blastocystis questions.

We are very much overwhelmed about the interest for this event and the support.


💥💥💥💥💥💥💥💥💥💥💥💥💥💥💥💥💥💥💥💥💥

Thursday, March 25, 2021

Dear all,

This is to remind you that the 3rd International Blastocystis Conference (http://blastocystis2021.com) will take place virtually between 2nd to 4th of June 2021 and currently both the registration (http://blastocystis2021.com/registration/) and the abstract submissions are open (http://blastocystis2021.com/abstract-guidelines/), with the deadlines for abstract submission and early-bird registration approaching soon: April 15th, 2021.

Participants from LMICs will receive a 20% discount in their registration fees. Please contact the Conference Secretariat (synedrio@topkinisis.com) to register at the discounted rate.

 For frequent updates, please follow us on twitter: @Blastocystis21 . Please do also spread the word! 

We look forward to seeing you (even virtually) in June 2021.


 

Thursday, January 14, 2021

3rd International Blastocystis Conference - abstract submission open!

Hi Everyone, and a very Happy New Year!

Please note that abstract submission and registration for the 3rd International Blastocystis Conference (virtual, 2nd to 4th of June) is now OPEN! Click here to register and share your Blastocystis research!

We have registration fees as low as € 15 for early birds!

For Twitter users, please also follow @Blastocystis21 for updates.


Monday, November 2, 2020

The Blastocystis PubMLST database now has a new look!

Thanks to Keith Jolley and colleauges, the PubMLST site now has a new look! Why not try and visit the Blastocystis section? It's available here

The Blastocystis database has mostly been used to identify whether subtypes that are shared between humans are animals reflect the same strains or not based on intra-subtype genetic variation (allele analysis), for which is works quite well. For this purpose, you should use DNA sequences reflecting the barcode region.

 You can query a single sequence or a whole batch of sequences. On the landing page, simply press 'Typing' and then opt for 'Single sequence' or 'Batch seqeunces', depending on what you want to analyse.

It's our ambition to expand the database with more subtype alleles, since this will allow all Blastocystis researchers interested in Blastocystis epidemiology to query their barcode sequences against a curated, standardised database. However, the genetic universe of Blastocystis is rapidly expanding, so it can be difficult to keep up! 

This site works best with Sanger sequences, or, possibly, consensus sequences generated based on next-generation sequencing of the 5'-end of the SSU rRNA gene of Blastocystis; we still haven't very much experience with the latter.


 

Update on 3rd International Blastocystis Conference 2021 2-4 of June 2021

Hello!

I would like to draw your attention to updates on the 3rd International Blastocystis Conference, which is very much ON, although in the virtual format.

Please go here for information.

I really hope that you will support the conference by your presence and active participation!

"Even though we wanted to see you in person in the beautiful Chania next year, we have decided for everyone’s safety to convert the 3rd International Blastocystis Conference into a virtual conference. The conference will take place between 2nd and 4th of June 2021 and we will make sure that it will also be tailored in the various time zones."

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Free access to fresh articles on Blastocystis - subtypes and lifecycle

Anyone with the links below can access our recent articles on Blastocystis for free over the next 50 days.

Please go here to download
Preempting Pandora’s Box: Blastocystis Subtypes Revisited

Please go here to download
Blastocystis - Parasite of the Month 

Both have been published in the March 2020 issue of Trends in Parasitology.

Happy reading!  

Thursday, January 23, 2020

ECCMID 2020

I look very much forward to the annual European Congress in Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, which this year will take place in April in Paris.

Apart from catching up with colleagues, a few of whom I've known for about 15 years, one of the things that I really look forward to is a session that I'll be co-chairing with Prof Laurence Delhaes with the title

The gut microbiome: not only bacteria, but also parasites and fungi!
It's a 2-hour symposium including these talks and presenters:


Does a healthy gut microbiome include parasites and yeast?
Dr. Pauline Scanlan
 
Within population diversification and evolution in the host
Dr. Daniel Lopez
 
The unexplored diversity of the gut microbiome: how can we profile yeasts and protozoa from metagenomics?
Prof. Nicola Segata
 
The microbiota of parasites
Dr. Cinzia Cantacessi

The symposium is co-organised by ESGS - ESCMID Study Group for Staphylococci and Staphylococcal Diseases, ESGPHM - ESCMID Study Group for Public Health Microbiology, ESGNI - ESCMID Study Group for Nosocomial Infections

For more information, please go here.

Monday, April 29, 2019

OPPORTUNITY!

For those interested in and working with
1) new technological and bioinformatic approaches to detecting and differentiating intestinal parasites
2) the role of Blastocystis and other common luminal intestinal parasitic protists
 there are currently a few interesting calls:

Mark van der Giezen (with whom I've had the pleasure of working with on a couple of projects) recently tweeted:

For more information, please go here.

He also tweeted:


Moving on to special issues in journals, I would like to highlight that Parasite Epidemiology and Control (PEC) is planning to publish two special issues of particular interest to our community:


Special Issue: 2nd International Blastocystis Conference

As the readers of this blog will know, the 2nd International Blastocystis Conference took place in Bogotá, Colombia only half a year ago. A special issue in PEC will be dedicated to this conference. It welcomes papers on Blastocystis also from those of our colleagues who could not attend the conference. You can read more here.

Guest editors: Juan David Ramirez Gonzalez (Editor of PEC), Funda Dogruman-Al and myself.


Special Issue: Novel Technologies and Approaches for Detecting Intestinal Parasites

Together with Juan David Ramirez Gonzalez I look very much forward to editing a special issue on new technologies and approaches to detecting intestinal parasites. I'm thinking metagenomics, amplicon-based sequencing, etc. Of course, also papers describing non-DNA-based methods are welcome. You can read more here.


Special Issue: Recent Advances in the Controverisal Human Pathogens Pneumocystis, Microsporidia, and Blastocystis

Finally, I'd like to highlight a special issue call from Frontiers in Microbiology on Pneumocystis, microsporidia, and Blastocystis - the odd ones out. Please go here for more information. The special issue is edited by Olga Matos, Lihua Xiao, and myself.

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Blastocystis PhD position available with Tasos

Hi all,


Just spreading the word: 


There is a funded PhD opportunity (!!!) in Dr Tsaousis' lab on Blastocystis:

'Identifying the parasitic or passenger role of Blastocystis, in patients with gastrointestinal disease'

available for September 16th start!  

 

Deadline for applications is 22 April.


Find more info here



Special issue on Blastocystis, Pneumocystis and microsporidia in 'Frontiers'

The online journal 'Frontiers in Microbiology - Infectious Diseases' will be publishing a special issue on Blastocystis, Pneumocystis and microsporidia as opportunistic eukaryotes and controversial pathogens.

Please go and see the call for papers here.

Topics editors include Olga Matos, Lihua Xiao and myself.

(Blastocystis images towards the right courtesy of Marianne Lebbad)

Friday, December 21, 2018

Season's Greetings and Best Blastocystis Paper of the Year

The year of 2018 is coming to an end, and what a BLASTO year we had!

The 2nd International Blastocystis Conference was so much more than a worthy sequel to the conference in Ankara in 2015, - it was also the conference that initiated the tradition of having a conference on Blastocystis every three years! And as most of you probably know, the next conference will be in Crete in 2021. More info to follow.

We also had a specific Blastocystis session in ICOPA 2018 in Daegu, South Korea, and I expect that this is also something that we'll see more of in future conferences.

Most exciting Blastocystis-related paper of the year for me is probably the one published by Raul Tito and colleagues in the journal Gut, which is available for free download here. The paper is a good example of the opportunity we have to study Blastocystis across geographical regions and taxonomic kingdoms. I would very much like to re-congratulate Raul on his fantastic work! His work sets an example for all of us.

Everyone, please remember that we have founded the International Blastocystis Network, which is a memeber of World Federation of Parasitology. Please help us come up with ideas as to what it can be used for.

To those of you who celebrate Christmas: Happy Christmas!
And a Happy New Year to everyone!

Rune



Saturday, November 10, 2018

2nd International Blastocystis Conference Wrap-Up - Part III

I asked around for some more take-home messages from a couple of the keynote speakers present at the 2nd International Blastocystis Conference last month in Bogotá. Here's a summary:

Kevin Tan:
  • Blastocystis is a species complex and as such, it is difficult to generalize on its roles in health and disease.
  • Studies are revealing that intra-subtype variations are associated with different phenotypes, so it is likely that we will require more resolution (allelic) when studying the effects of Blastocystis on the host.
  • Recent metagenomics studies on stools of healthy individuals associate the presence of Blastocystis with a diverse bacterial microbiota, but more studies are required on diseased groups to identify their possible associations with rare/ pathogenic isolates (e.g. ST7 isolates).
  • Recent work on rodent models are shedding light on possible pathogenic effects of acute Blastocystis infections.
  • More studies on the cell and molecular biology of Blastocystis are required to better understand the molecular basis for Blastocystis-host interactions (identify virulence factors, adaptation strategies etc).
  • It is very likely that more surprises are in store for the curious and observant Blastocystis researcher!

Kevin Tan giving his keynote

Kevin Tan taking questions - here probably expanding on Blastocystis ploidy...



Andrew Roger:
  • We shouldn’t try to generalize about characteristics of ‘Blastocystis’ based on studies of individual isolates. This is a category error — Blastocystis comprises many many different organisms with different genetic makeups. There is variation not just between subtypes, but within subtypes. So we shouldn’t say “Blastocystis is a commensal/parasite” because different Blastocystis isolates could be commensals or parasites depending on the host, the genetic makeup of the parasite and the microbiota with which they interact.
  • In microbiome studies, colonization with Blastocystis in general seems to correlate with a different composition of the prokaryotic microbiota in hosts.
  • We know virtually NOTHING about the basic cell biology of Blastocystis (Kevin Tan’s group is making important inroads into understanding this).
  • We know virtually NOTHING about how Blastocystis interacts with (or responds to) other microbes and the host immune system.
  • There may be an important impact of host diet on Blastocystis colonization and ‘behaviour'.
  • The diversity of Blastocystis in humans and animals is huge — new lineages are being continuously revealed.


Andrew Roger about to give his keynote

Andrew Roger taking questions from the audience