The Third BBSRC UK Veterinary Vaccinology Network conference was held on 16th and 17th January 2017 in Riddel Hall, Queens University, Belfast, organised by our very own partners, Prof John Dalton and Dr Krystyna Kwyklinski who are based at Queens. As PARAGONE has the aim of taking forward the best multicellular parasite vaccine prototypes, many partners attended this conference making the most of all the sessions.
The conference kicked off with a ‘Microbiome and Immunology’ session hosted by Dr Bryan Charleston. A variety of topics were addressed; from immunity studies for nasal vaccine delivery in rainbow trout with Professor Irene Salinas (University of New Mexico) to how host-microbiome interactions affect obesity by Dr Christoph Thaiss (Institute of Science, Israel). A novel format was introduced during lunch time, whre attendees were lucky enough to listen to exciting new findings presented by early career researchers. So, why not talk about Fasciola hepatica glycans with PARAGONE’s Andrés García or learn about recent studies on Ostertagia ostertagi immune responses by Ana González (from our Gent partners), while eating delicious fish pie?!
The afternoon session was chaired by Dr Mark Robinson and the theme was “Parasites”, our passion! All the lectures were fascinating, but Professor Marshall Lightowlers (University of Melbourne) was especially inspiring, with his presentation on sub-unit vaccines against cestode parasites – “It is possible” – he affirmed happily.
The evening social event was unique: good beer and food, comedy and music. A not too formal that it enabled all attendants to have a network effectively.
Professor Ivan Morrison guided us through the first session of day two, ‘Tuberculosis’. Dr Simone Joosten (Leiden Univeristy Medical Centre) offered us a detailed nicely presented review of B cell responses in TB, while Professor Stephen Gordon (University College Dublin) took the lead role of One Health and TB by showing the interaction of M. bovis and M. tuberculosis in human and cattle from Ethiopia, and presented how these pathogens differ when infecting macrophages. The last session dealt with Emerging Technologies. Professor Elizabeth Glass (University of Edinburgh) introduced the potential impact of host genetics on responses to vaccines, and Dr Ronan Macloughlin (Aerogen) explained the latest development in aerosol drug delivery technologies.
Many thanks to the organizers for such an enjoyable and stimulating conference. We will be delighted to attend the next one!