3pm SGT - Scientific Breakthroughs: Cutting Edge Microbiome Research Amid the Pandemic 

Introduction from our Chair of the Digital Summit, Gary Scattergood, Editor-in-Chief, NutraIngredients-Asia

The first day of the digital summit kicks off with a presentation from Prof David Lynn, EMBL Australia Group Leader and Program Director at The SAHMRI Precision Medicine Theme; Scientific Director at SA Genomics Centre; and Professor at Flinders University

David will present on: Can the microbiota be targeted to enhance immune responses to vaccination? 
Vaccine immunogenicity is frequently suboptimal in the very populations at most risk from infectious disease including infants, the elderly, and those living in low- and medium-income countries (LMICs). While many factors have the potential to influence vaccine immunogenicity, increasing evidence from clinical studies and animal models now suggests that the composition and function of the gut microbiota is a critical factor modulating immune responses to vaccination. In this talk, David will also present the Antibiotics and Immune Responses in infants study.

Key Takeaways:

  • How a systems vaccinology approach can assess links between the composition and metagenomic function of the gut microbiota and responses to immunisation
  • How researchers are using germ-free mouse models can causally validate these associations
  • How this can help identify new candidate probiotic species that enhance immune responses to vaccination
David's presentation will be followed by a short Q&A session with Gary Scattergood

We continue this session with a presentation by Prof Siew C NG, Director of Microbiota I-Center (MagIC) at Hong Kong Science and Technology Park; Professor of Medicine, Assistant Dean (Development) and Associate Director of Centre for Gut Microbiota Research at The Chinese University of Hong Kong

Siew C will present on: The promise of Microbiota modulation during the COVID-19 pandemic
The variety and volume of bacteria in the gut may influence the severity of COVID-19 infection as well as the magnitude of the immune system response to the infection. COVID patients lack certain good bacteria known to regulate our immune system and the abnormal gut microbiota (dysbiosis) persists after clearance of the virus, which could contribute to lingering symptoms, known as “long COVID”. Clinical management not only should aim at clearing the virus but also restoring the abnormal gut microbiota.

Bolstering of beneficial gut species depleted in COVID-19 could serve as a novel avenue to mitigate severe disease, underscoring the importance of managing patients’ gut microbiota during and after COVID-19. CU Medicine has developed a microbiome immunity formula that targets gut dysbiosis.

Key Takeaways:

  • How COVID-19 patients who received the microbiome immunity formula achieved complete symptom resolution, showed significantly reduced proinflammatory markers in their blood, had increased favourable bacteria in their stool and developed neutralising antibodies
  • Why the gut microbiota plays a vital role in immune response after vaccination
  • How a preliminary study in our laboratory using blood samples from individuals who have received COVID-19 vaccine showed that addition of a beneficial bacteria consortia is effective in reducing 7inflammatory cytokines and enhancing antibody level
  • Updates on clinical trials to investigate the impact of modulation of gut microbiota in reducing vaccine-related adverse reactions and improving the efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccine

Day one wraps up with a panel discussion with live Q&A chaired by Gary Scattergood on Scientific Breakthroughs: Cutting-Edge Microbiome Research Amid the Pandemic .

Panellists:

  • Prof David Lynn, EMBL Australia Group Leader and Program Director, The SAHMRI Precision Medicine Theme; Scientific Director, SA Genomics Centre; and Professor, Flinders University
  • Dr Samuel JK Abraham, Head of R&D, GN Corporation 
  • Dr Michael Conlon, Principal Research Scientist, CSIRO Health & Biosecurity
  • Prof Balamurugan Ramadass, The Additional Professor, All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Bhubaneswar

5pm SGT - Networking - the opportunity to chat to other delegates, schedule one-on-one meetings, visit our sponsor hubs.