MSU hosts major medical conference

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> STARKVILLE, Miss. — Researchers recently gathered at the Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine to share information about a common bacteria most people associate with ear and sinus infections.
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> Pneumococcal disease is also responsible for more serious infections, such as pneumonia and sepsis. Because of its prevalence and severity, MSU scientists are focused on finding preventions and treatments.
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> For the first time in its 20-year history, the Southeastern Pneumococcal Symposium was held at MSU-CVM. The large regional gathering of experts was developed by Dr. David E. Briles, a professor in microbiology and pediatrics at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, as a way to exchange ideas and research findings.
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> As the conference expanded, microbiology experts interested in the same types of research began attending in efforts to enhance their work. After being hosted every other year at UAB, in 2016 the meeting was moved to MSU with the long-term goal of forming an extensive, collaborative research network focused on understanding all aspects of pneumococcal biology.
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> “It is a great honor to have our institution be chosen to host the conference,” said Dr. Steve Pruett, head of basic sciences at MSU-CVM. “I think it speaks highly to the microbiology expertise we have available here. This was a great opportunity for us to gain more information and also showcase current research.”
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> More than 40 people attended the symposium and shared information from recent studies on protein virulence factors of pneumococci, mechanisms of action, and potential use in vaccines.
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> “It’s really inspiring to us in this field of study to get together and learn from each others’ research,” said Dr. Bindu Nanduri, an MSU-CVM associate professor who helped plan the symposium. “There are vaccines available for pneumococcal infections, but because there are so many strains, the current vaccines do not cover them all. To prevent and treat pneumococcal infections, we need to continually widen the scope of our research, and this symposium helps us do that.”
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> For more information on MSU-CVM’s public health related research, visit http://www.cvm.msstate.edu.
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