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UNAIR Chemistry Dept holds COMSTECH biofilm workshop

Explanation of the biofilm material on the second day of the workshop by Prof. Dr. Ute Romling on Wednesday (28/2/2024) at FST, MERR-C Campus during the COMSTECH event. (Photo: By courtesy)

UNAIR NEWS – The Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science and Technology (FST) at Universitas Airlangga organized an international collaboration with the Committee on Scientific and Technological Cooperation (COMSTECH) Islamabad on Feb 28, 2024. The event, titled “COMSTECH Distinguished Scholars Program: Microbial Biofilms Course and Workshop” took place in the RSK Room at FST, MERR-C Campus. 

The keynote speaker, Prof. Dr. Ute Romling, a professor of Medical Microbial Physiology at the Karolinska Institutet, Sweden, led the workshop.

The second day of the workshop focused on discussing the regulation of biofilm formation, following Prof. Romling’s introduction to the definition, history, models of biofilms, and the structure of biofilm components.

The significance of the biofilm topic in the workshop is underscored by Prof. Dr. Afaf Baktir MS, a member of the Scientific Committee for the COMSTECH event. She notes that biofilm has become a popular subject and emphasizes that in certain diseases where complete treatment is challenging, incorporating antibiofilm measures is essential.

“Chronic diseases like pneumonia and cystic fibrosis are on the rise and pose challenges for complete treatment. The inability to eradicate microbes even with high antibiotic doses is a significant hurdle. Therefore, an effective approach in antibiotic therapy requires the addition of antibiofilm,” she clarified.

Prof. Afaf’s concern about the significance of employing antibiofilm agents in treating chronic diseases has prompted the Department of Chemistry at UNAIR to focus on advancing research in this domain. Through collaboration with COMSTECH, workshops addressing biofilms can be organized.

UNAIR Chemistry Dept holds COMSTECH biofilm workshop

During the presentation, Prof. Romling elucidated that Cyclic di-GMP (c-di-GMP) stands out as the most prevalent and intricate second messenger signaling system within bacteria. She highlighted that c-di-GMP is exclusive to bacteria.

“Found across various bacterial phyla, c-di-GMP ranks as the second most abundant signaling system. Furthermore, within bacteria, c-di-GMP is deemed the most complex due to the potential encoding of over 100 c-di-GMP turnover proteins in a single bacterial genome,” she said.

Furthermore, Prof. Romling explained that according to Stuart Schreiber, life would not exist solely with macromolecules. Through his research, Stuart Schreiber focused on small molecules undergoing secretion and quorum sensing. Therefore, she continued, bacteria are considered too small to require complex secondary signaling pathways.

Author: Iratri Puspita

Editor: Nuri Hermawan