( MALAng, MAkassar daN DenpAsar )

Update on Emerging and Re-emerging Infectious Diseases

21st November 2020


Infectious diseases knows no borders. In today’s interconnected world, diseases can spread from an isolated, rural village to any major city. In spite of some notable achievements in the control of infectious diseases, transmissible pathogens still represent a tremendous risk to human health. Some pathogens are directly transmitted between individuals of a single species, whereas others circulate among multiple hosts, need arthropod vectors, or can survive in environmental reservoirs. For decades, arboviral diseases were considered to be only minor contributors to global mortality and disability. As a result, low priority was given to arbovirus research investment and related public health infrastructure. The past five decades, however, have seen an unprecedented emergence of epidemic arboviral diseases (notably dengue, chikungunya, yellow fever, and Zika virus disease) resulting from the triad of the modern world: urbanization, globalization, and international mobility or travel.

Antibiotic resistance is rising to dangerously high levels in all parts of the world. New resistance mechanisms are emerging and spreading globally, threatening our ability to treat common infectious diseases. A growing list of infections – such as pneumonia, tuberculosis, blood poisoning, gonorrhoea, and foodborne diseases – are becoming harder, and sometimes impossible, to treat as antibiotics become less effective. According to current estimates, more than 200 000 new-borns die each year from infections that do not respond to available drugs. And studies using data from larger hospitals – where microbes are more likely to develop antibiotic resistance – estimate that about 40% of infections in new-born’s resist standard treatments. Childbirth can be risky. Infants – especially if they are premature – do not have fully developed immune systems, so they are more susceptible to illnesses, either from bugs their mother is already carrying, or from infections they pick up in the hospital.

Dengue fever is an tropical infectious disease caused by a Flaviviridae family virus transmitted by Aedes aegypti. The incidence of dengue has been growing dramatically in recent decades. Before 1970, only nine countries had experienced severe dengue epidemics. The disease is currently become endemic in more than 100 countries in the WHO regions of Africa, America, Eastern Mediterranean, South-East Asia, and the Western Pacific, in which Asia representing approximately 70% of the global burden. In 2020, dengue infection continues to affect several countries with reports of increases in the numbers of cases in Bangladesh, Brazil, Cook Islands, Ecuador, India, Indonesia, Maldives, Mauritania, Mayotte, Nepal, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Thailand, Timor-Leste and Yemen. Several methods used for diagnosis of DENV infection include virology tests (RT-PCR, NS1); and serological tests which detect human-derived immune components produced in response to the virus (IgM Anti Dengue, IgG Anti Dengue).

HIV/AIDS is currently still one of the world’s most serious public health threats. There were around 38 million people with HIV/AIDS in 2019 globally in which 36.2 million were adults and 1.8 million were children (age < 15 years old). Despite advances in our scientific understanding of HIV and its prevention and treatment as well as years of significant effort by the global health community and leading government and civil society organizations, too many people with HIV or at risk for HIV still do not have access to prevention, care, and treatment, and there is still no cure. Due to gaps in HIV health services, 690 000 people died from HIV-related causes in 2019 and 1.7 million people were newly infected. Furthermore, HIV epidemic not merely affects individuals’ health, but also households, communities, along with nation development and economic growth. Combination of screening and confirmatory tests are basic modality in HIV diagnosis. Latest HIV diagnostic tests are combined antibody and antigen assays detection of HIV infection earlier. In infants, viral load assays such as nucleic acid tests is being used to diagnose HIV infection.

Laboratory diagnostic for infectious diseases can be made by direct microscopic examinations, culture, immunologic diagnostic, and molecular diagnostic. Culture is normally the gold standard for identification of organisms, however the results may not be available for days or weeks, and not all pathogens can be cultured, thus making alternative tests could be useful. Molecular diagnosis, which is generally more sensitive and specific, has become the method of choice to identify certain pathogens, particularly viruses. Initially, molecular diagnostics were carried out using hybridization methods, such as fluorescence in situ hybridization. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and microarrays offered high output and more accurate tests. Nowadays, DNA sequencing is an alternative for molecular diagnostic as an unbiased and direct method.

All these issues will be presented, discussed and issued in the forum of International Conference on Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases in conjunction with the 7th Webinar PAMKI Series organized by Alamanda (Malang, Makassar and Denpasar) Regional Trigonum. The meeting will be held online on Saturday, 21st November 2020 with the theme of “Update on Emerging and Re-emerging Infectious Diseases “. Symposium will be conducted in the forum of International Conference on Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases in conjunction with the 7th Webinar PAMKI Series. International speakers, including clinicians, clinical microbiologist, and other related disciplines would be invited. We hope that the participants will learn much about the applications of clinical microbiology and enthusiastically discuss the basic and clinical topics with world leading scientists to establish new collaborations and networking. It is my honor to invite you to participate in the forum of International Conference on Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases in conjunction with the 7th Webinar PAMKI Series. We look forward to welcoming you in November 2020.

Makassar, 30 September 2020

dr. Rizalinda Sjahril, MSc., PhD, SpMK