Aliona
Rosca
...
DP_AEM student
Centro de Engenharia Biológica (CEB)
Doctoral Program in Chemical and Biological Engineering (CEB)
2016-2020
Nuno Cerca
Aliona
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Phd Thesis

Multi-species biofilms in bacterial vaginosis: ecological interactions and resistance to novel antimicrobial agents

Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is the most common vaginal disorder in women of reproductive age and has been associated with serious health complications. Despite its high prevalence worldwide, its etiology is not yet fully understood. The involvement of multi-species biofilms, dominated by Gardnerella vaginalis, is a hallmark of BV but the roles of the other BV-associated species in the disease is not clear. Importantly, biofilms have been shown to contribute to the high rates of antimicrobial resistance, persistence, and recurrence of BV. As such, the search for novel antimicrobial agents to treat BV is of utmost importance. Recently it has been shown that Thymbra capitata (a native floral plant of Portugal) essential oil has antimicrobial activity against G. vaginalis biofilms. Therefore, the overall scope of this project is to explore the recent finding and besides that, this also aims to (i) better characterize the multi-species communities associated to BV and to (ii) develop a novel antimicrobial product to treat BV infections. 

Publication and Meetings

• 1st Joint Workshop of thePhDPrograms in Applied and Environmental Microbiology (DP_AEM) and Molecular and Environmental Biology (PDBMA), 26 – 30 September 2016, Campus de Gualtar, University of Minho, Braga, Portugal.

• 2nd Joint BIOTECnico and AEM PhD programs workshop, 15-16 February 2017, Instituto Superior Técnico, Campus Alameda, Lisbon, Portugal. (Oral presentation: Bacterial Vaginosis)

2nd Joint Workshop of the PhD programs in Applied and Environmental Microbiology (DP_AEM) and Molecular and Environmental Biology (PDBMA), 25 – 29 September 2017, Campus de Gualtar, University of Minho, Braga, Portugal. (Oral presentation: Multi-species biofilms in bacterial vaginosis: ecological interactions and resistance to novel antimicrobial agents)

• 3rd Joint BIOTECnico and AEM PhD programs workshop, 11-12 June 2018, Instituto Superior Técnico, Campus Alameda, Lisbon, Portugal. (Oral presentation: Ecological characterization of mixed species biofilms associated with bacterial vaginosis)

Martins A.P., Castro J., Rosca A., Rodrigues M.E., Cerca N. L. crispatus protects Hela cells against G. vaginalis cytotoxicity. EUROBIOFILMS 2017. Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 19 – 22 September 2017. (poster)

Rosca A., Martins A.P., Castro J., Cerca N. Development of an in vitro vaginal exudate adhesion model for Bacterial Vaginosis. MICROBIOTEC'17. Porto, Portugal, 7 – 9 December 2017. (poster)

Rosca A., Vaneechoutte M., Cerca N. Probing for bacterial interactions in Bacterial Vaginosis using an in vitro tri-species biofilm model. IUSTI 2018 World & European Congress. Dublin, Ireland, 27 – 30 June 2018. (poster)

 CEB Scientific Annual Meeting 2017. University of Minho, Braga, Portugal, 6th of July 2017.

• Rosca A., Cerca N., Vaneechoutte M. Interactions between Gardnerella vaginalis and other Bacterial Vaginosis (BV)-related species in an in vitro biofilm model. Research Day & Student Research Symposium. Ghent, Belgium, 19th of April 2018. (poster)

Training

• Phage Therapy and Immunology, a short seminar held by Prof. Dr. Krystyna Dabrowska from Institute of Immunology and Experimental Therapy, Polish Academy of Sciences, Wroclaw, Poland. Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium, 13th of December 2017.

• Mini Symposium: Systems Biology meets Medicine, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium, 19th of February 2018.

• Learning from bacteriophages – advantages and limitations of phage and phage-encoded protein applications, a short seminar held by Prof. Dr. Zuzanna Drulis-Kawa from Institute of Genetics and Microbiology, Department of Pathogen Biology and Immunology, University of Wroclaw, Poland. Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium, 23rd of February 2018.

• Proteome 2 Gene 2 Protein Course. University of Minho, Braga, Portugal, 20 - 22 December 2016.

• Confocal Microscopy Short Course. University of Minho, Braga, Portugal, 22 - 23 May 2017.

• Communication skills (course level 1) with Dr. Ana Salgado. University of Minho, Braga, Portugal, 29th of September 2016.

• Communication skills (course level 2) with Dr. Ana Salgado. University of Minho, Braga, Portugal, February – July 2017.