On 16th-17th November 2017, the joint seminar of the COST AMICI Network Core Group and the Working Group 3 was held in the National Institute of Chemical Physics and Biophysics, Tallinn, Estonia.
The European Union COST Action AMICI brings together experts on the synthesis, use and assessment of unwanted side effects of antimicrobial coatings. The project is coordinated by dr. Francy Crijns (Zuyd University of Applied Sciences and Technology), Netherlands. The head of the Working Group 3 on risk-benefit analysis for the environmental aspects of the project and the antimicrobial coatings is dr. Anne Kahru, the Head of the Laboratory of Environmental Toxiology and most of her group members contribute to the work. The Vice-Head of WG3, dr. Merja Ahonen (Satakunta University of Applied Sciences, Pori, Finland) took active part in planning the meeting of WG3.
The scientific programme of WG3 Meeting in Tallinn was devoted to development and spreading microbial antibiotic resistance – one of the most urgent medial problems worldwide as antimicrobial coatings (AMCs) that should keep bacteria away or inhibit their growth, can also favour the emergence of microbial resistance to both the coating materials as well as to the traditional antibiotics. The opening lecture was held by prof. Tanel Tenson (Tartu University), who made an introduction to the mechanisms of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and its spreading. Go to presentation >
Prof. Irja Lutsar (Tartu University) focused on the use of antibiotics in healthcare and compared AMR problems in Estonia and in the European Union. It was good to acknowledge that in Estonia antibiotics are much less used than in other European countries, and therefore the problem of AMR in Estonia is smaller than in the rest of Europe. Go to presentation >.
The first day of the seminar ended with the lecture of dr. Pille Märtin – the medical doctor on infection control at the Western Tallinn Hospital and a leading specialist on infection control in the Estonian Health Board. Her lecture „Trends on infections and infection control in Estonia and Europe“ introduced the audience real hospital problems, including the nursing shortage. All these moments are important in preventing infections. Go to presentation >
The second seminar day began with the lecture of dr. Siiri Kõljalg (Tartu University) on antimicrobial resistance, including the view from the hospital´s laboratory. The audience learned that the determination of microbial genes has not, however, eliminated the traditional microbiological research on Petri dishes, and combines cultivation-based methods with ultra-modern ones (MALDI-TOF) for identifying bacterial species. Go to presentation >.
The lecture block of Estonian top specialists on AMR was followed by a lecture of Greek veterinary scientist dr. Theophilos Papadopoulos showing that AMR in Greece is one of the largest in Europe, mainly due to the large-scale use of antibiotics in animal husbandry. Go to presentation >.
The last two presentations of WG3 meeting introduced novel antimicrobial peptides. Dr. Maria Olívia Pereira (University of Minho, Braga, Portugal) addressed the impact of antimicrobial peptides on biofilms (Go to presentation >) and dr. Martijn Riool (University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands) presented antimicrobial peptides to combat the unwanted growth of MRSA (multi-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) on medical implants. Go to presentation > . The seminar was attended by 25 members of COST AMICI and also a dozen Estonian researchers and students.
On the picture:
Leading organizers (in the front raw on the group photo): dr. Anne Kahru, main organiser of the Tallinn meeting, head of the AMICI WG3; second from the left) and dr. Francy Crijns (COST AMICI Coordinator; third from the left).