International Pneumococcus Conference at the University of Greifswald

Illustration of pneumococcal polysaccharide capsule during adherence and invasion of epithelial cells. - Image: Hammerschmidt, S., S. Wolff, A. Hocke, S. Rosseau, E. Muller, and M. Rohde. 2005.

Pneumococci (Streptococcus pneumoniae) are bacteria that are found in the nasopharynx of roughly 20 percent of humans without causing any illnesses. Apart from the harmless colonisation, pneumococci are feared as the cause of pneumonia infections that are contracted outside of hospitals, or invasive illnesses such as bacteraemia and meningitis. Otitis media caused by pneumococci is often underestimated, causing not only painful local infections, but also leading to meningitis in some cases. The vaccines that are available in the fight against pneumococci are only effective on a small number of serotypes and treatment is often hindered by the increase in antimicrobial-resistant isolates.

Experts will present the newest research results into the molecular biology of pneumococci, the pathogenesis of the pneumococci and vaccine research during 47 short presentations, 6 keynotes and 61 poster presentations. Europneumo’s keynote speakers will address the adaptation strategies that have been developed by pneumococci for colonising or infecting humans and avoiding the built-in immune system. They will also look at how virulence factors are localised on the surface of the pneumococci and how the natural ability to absorb DNA is controlled, and which new breakthroughs have been made in the search for a cross-serotype vaccine.

The 14thEuropneumo will take place in the University of Greifswald’s new lecture hall building, surrounded by a historic setting in the town centre. The organisers led by Prof. Dr. Sven Hammerschmidt from the Department of Molecular Genetics and Infection Biology [de] were supported by the University of Greifswald, the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG), the German Society for Hygiene and Microbiology (DGHM) [de] and the state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern’s Excellence Initiative as part of the KoInfekt Project.

Europneumo has also set itself the goal of supporting early-career researchers, which is reflected in the large number of short presentations that will be held by young postdocs or doctoral students.

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Further Information
Europneumo conference programme
Conference page

Contact at the University of Greifswald
Prof. Dr. Sven Hammerschmidt
Department of Molecular Genetics and Infection Biology
Interfaculty Institute of Genetics and Functional Genomics
Center for Functional Genomics of Microbes
Felix Hausdorff-Straße 8, 17489 Greifswald
Tel.: +49 3834 420 5700