By: Nurhayati, Wahyu Nawang Wulan

The American Society of Tropical Medicine & Hygiene (ASTMH) Annual Meeting is the premier international forum for the exchange of scientific advances in tropical medicine, hygiene, and global health. The meeting draws tropical medicine and global health professionals representing academia, foundations, government, non-profit organizations, non-governmental organizations, the private sector, the military, and private practice. Participants include researchers, professors, government and public health officials, military personnel, travel clinic physicians, practicing physicians in tropical medicine, students, and all healthcare providers working in the fields of tropical medicine, hygiene, and global health.

The 2022 ASTMH Annual Meeting was held on October 30 – November 3, 2022, in Seattle, WA, USA. This is the first in-person conference since the pandemic. During the meeting, the live stream option provided access to 50 curated sessions and the electronic-Poster Hall Gallery. The five-day educational conference was attended by more than 4,000 attendees from more than 115 countries, who shared their updates in abstracts that were presented as oral talks or posters. A total of 2,706 presentations, including symposium presentations, late breaker abstract presentations, oral abstract presentations, and poster presentations, were presented during the event. Presented updates covered diseases that carry a major burden in tropical medicine, in particular, malaria and other tropical parasites (such as onchocerciasis), arbovirus infection, enteric bacterial infection, the neglected tropical diseases / NTDs (including schistosomiasis, soil-transmitted helminthiasis, filariasis, leishmaniasis), as well as reports on modernized diagnostics technologies such as proteomic-based diagnostic biomarkers or multiplex serologic diagnostics. Not to be left behind are updates on contemporary issues, including SARS-CoV2, Hepatitis E, Zika, cholera, and the monkeypox out-break and enduring pneumonia/respiratory infections/ tuberculosis and global health (water, sanitation, hygiene, and environments). Works that are presented include drug/vaccine development and clinical trials, mass drug administration (MDA), molecular/cellular immunoparasitology, and also molecular genetics of pathogens/host/vectors.

Left: Nurhayati and INA101 poster, Right: Nawang and INA105 poster

The representatives from INA-RESPOND, Wahyu Nawang Wulan and Nurhayati, presented two posters on the latest update from the INA105 Validation of the Schistosomiasis Point-of-Care Circulating Cathodic Antigen (POC-CCA) Rap-id Urine Test for Qualitative Detection of Schistosoma japonicum and INA101 Acute Febrile Illnesses Requiring Hospitalization (AFIRE) studies. Wahyu Nawang Wulan reported the proportion of schistosomiasis from a contact investigation survey in low prevalence regions of Schistosoma japonicum endemic area in Central Sulawesi Province, based on Kato Katz (KK) microscopy and qualitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR), whereas Nurhayati reported a new analysis on pathogen identification based on blood culture from the INA101 study. In brief, the INA105 study shares an updated finding of a high schistosomiasis proportion (44.3% by qPCR, 15.7% by KK) within the targeted population. On the other hand, from the INA101 study, we reported that bacteremia was observed in 8.9% of participants. The top 3 (blood culture) pathogens identified were S. typhi and S. paratyphi A, E. coli, and S. aureus. Two S. paratyphi A cases had evidence of AMR, and several E. coli cases were multidrug-resistant (42.9%) or monoresistant (14.3%). It concluded that the routine practice of AMR susceptibility testing on positive blood cultures in Indonesia is encouraging and should be continued to inform clinical decisions on patient treatment in real-time.

During the events, we had a chance to talk and share our study results with others and had a good opportunity to meet experts on schistosomiasis that have been in close communication with the INA-RESPOND team in conducting the INA105 study, i.e. Dr. W Evan Secor and Dr. Ann Straily from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (US CDC). We also had a good conversation on prospective collaboration on peptide-based detection with Dr. Sukwan Handali, also from Dr. Secor’s lab.

Overall, the meeting is interesting and valuable. Much of the latest information and results from various studies were shared, which broadened our knowledge of infectious diseases.


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