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PHO Microbiology Rounds: Enzyme bases microbial biofilm disruptors
Wednesday, May 24, 2017 02:00 pm to 03:00 pm
Venue: Public Health Ontario. 661 University Avenue. 17th floor. Boardroom 17-53
Infectious Diseases; Emergency Preparedness; Health Promotion; Laboratory Testing and Sciences
City: Toronto
Type: PHO Rounds: Microbiology
Format: In Person; Webinar
Microbial biofilms are a significant medical problem involved in ~80% of chronic infections. A key component of the biofilm in many microbial species are long chains of sugars called exopolysaccharides. These polymers are produced by bacteria and fungi, and involved in initial colonization as adhesins, provide three-dimensional structure to the biofilm, and from a disease perspective offer protection against antimicrobial agents and immune defense mechanisms. Our functional characterization of the exopolysaccharides Pel and Psl from Pseudomonas aeruginosa and galactosaminogalactan (GAG) from the fungus Aspergillis fumigatus has led to the identification of several polymer degrading enyzmes. We have found that these enzymes are non-cytotoxic in vitro, rapidly disrupt established biofilms, increase the susceptibility of microbes to neutrophil killing and potentiate the effect of antimicrobials.
In this presentation, Dr Howell will focus on describing the role of sugar polymers in biofilm formation and how they are made and more importantly, will highlight their role and impact in chronic infections. Dr Howell will also discuss the contributions that basic discovery research has made in developing new therapeutics.

Presenter: Dr. P. Lynne Howell

Dr. Howell is a Senior Scientist in the Program in Molecular Medicine at SickKids, and a Professor in the Department of Biochemistry at the U of T. She has more than 25 years experience as an independent investigator. Dr. Howell holds a Tier I Canada Research Chair in Structural Biology and was Head of the Program in Molecular Medicine at SickKids from 2002-2014 and Associate Chief, Research Integration and Communication 2014-2016.
DISCLAIMER: The opinions expressed by speakers and moderators do not necessarily reflect the official policies or views of Public Health Ontario, nor does the mention of trade names, commercial practices, or organizations imply endorsement by Public Health Ontario.
Please note that you will receive details on how to join the webinar after registering for this event.
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