Nov 10 : The department of Microbiology, of the Father Muller Medical College is organizing a 4 days National Hands-on workshop on Anaerobic Culture Techniques and Recent Identification Techniques titled ‘An Encounter with Anaerobes’ from 10th to 13th November, 2021. The workshop is aimed at training the participants to impart concepts in anaerobiosis, to enable them to isolate and identify the various anaerobes and to present them with various case studies arranged by experts in the field.
5th National Hands-on Workshop on Anaerobes under the banner of American Society Microbiology (ASM) & American Forum of India (AFI) was inaugurated by the Director FMCI Rev. Fr Richard Aloysius Coelho among a array of delegates and dignitaries in the Father Muller Research Centre, Block A of FMMC ON 10 November 2021. He stressed on the fact that though being a lay person in the subject of discussion, the inevitable connection of the spiritual belief of God though not seen on humans could be similarly allayed on the illness and wellbeing due to these unseen microbes. The workshop which was regularly conducted by the department was postponed for 2 years citing the pandemic.
This unique workshop gives the participants an opportunity to get exposed to various anaerobic isolates, to provide practice oriented diagnostic techniques to isolate and identify them, to perform antimicrobial susceptibility testing and thus familiarizing with these ‘silent and forgotten pathogens’. In addition, the latest technique for Microbial Identification, MALDI TOF will be demonstrated with hands-on training. Molecular Identification of Anaerobes by Conventional, Multiplex & Real Time PCR also will be done by demonstration as well as hands-on Training.
This unique event and those pathogens who hate oxygen, were the centre of the 4 days’ workshop. The role of anaerobes in causing various invasive infections is well documented. They are the most primitive bacteria, but were forgotten or overlooked as Anaerobic Culture Techniques are very laborious, time consuming, relatively expensive and need a lot of practice and patience. The clinicians empirically believe that Metronidazole drug will provide antibiotic coverage to all the anaerobes is also another factor . In the mid-1980s, anaerobes were the topic of interest in Microbiology. After 2 or 3 decades they vanished from the stage which rolled a red carpet to molecular techniques. Like the yesteryear heroines who come back to the stage after some years in supportive roles, we can sustain on a ray of hope that anaerobes might again occupy the centre stage of bacteriology in the near future and this workshop may be a stepping stone to that effort.
Fr Ajith Menezes, Administrator FMMC; Fr Rudolph Ravi D’Sa Administrator FMMCH; Dean FMMC Dr Jayaprakash Alva & Chief of Research Dr Sanjeeva Rai; Dr Antony Sylvian, Dean, FMCOAHS and other distinguished dignitaries were present at the inaugural.
Eminent personalities of our country like Dr Rama Choudhry, Professor & HOD, All India Institute of Medical Sciences will be delivering the Keynote address enlightening on her vast experience on the clinical perspectives on anaerobic infections and Microbiome in Health & Disease. She is also the Indian Ambassador to the American Society of Microbiologists & also the Chairperson of the Anaerobic Forum of India. She was instrumental in getting permission to conduct this workshop under the banner of ASM & AFI.
Other guest speakers include Dr Chetana Vaishnavi , Retired Professor from PGI Chandigarh and Dr Padmaja Shenoy , Assoc. Prof from KMC Manipal who will be delivering the talks on a virtual platform.
Though the workshop was for a select 10 participants, due to the immense interest and application received 24 were accommodated and few more were on the waiting list. The delegates included Staff & PGs from premier institutes such as AIIMS, New Delhi; Breach Candy Mumbai; Stanly Medical College Chennai and many institutes from various states in India. Prof Dr Beena Antony is the Organizing Secretary and Prof Dr Meena Dias the Organizing Chairman of the workshop. Sponsors such as Don Whitley Anaerobic Workstations, BD Diagnostics, Ajosha Bioteknik & Durga Laboratories & Mahalasa Agencies have helped in providing their support to the workshop. A manual compiled by Prof Dr Beena Antony was released during the inaugural titled ‘An Encounter with Anaerobes’.