International Seminar on Infectious Diseases Held.

The Center for Infectious Diseases (CID), Kobe University Graduate School of Medicine, collaborates with Faculty of Medicine, University of Indonesia to aim identification of natural substances for anti-hepatitis C virus (HCV) antigen and development of vaccines against HCV and dengue virus as the project of Science and Technology Research Partnership for Sustainable Development (SATREPS). The SATREPS is conducted in collaboration between Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST) and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
It is estimated that there are about 2 million patients with chronic hepatitis C in Japan, more than 7 million in Indonesia, and more than 170 million worldwide. It is also estimated that there are 50 million patients with dengue fever worldwide every year. Since global warming and human globalization may result in spread of dengue fever into the areas outside of tropics, development of new treatments and prevention methods of dengue fever have been strongly required.
This project started in February 2010, and will continue until February 2014 (4 years) to find out medicinal plants and natural products native to Indonesia, as a new antiviral agent for HCV.
In addition, this project aims to develop DNA vaccines against dengue virus and live recombinant varicella vaccine against HCV.

Opening Ceremony iFrom left to right: Dr. Pratiwi Sudarmono, Mr. Mitsuhiro Ushio, Mr. Shigeo Okaya, Mr. Suharna Surapranata, Dr. Hak Hotta, Dr. Ratna Sitompul, Dr. Sri Razeki Hadinegoro, Dr. Amin Soebandrioj
The international seminar, entitled "Viral Diseases: Control and Management", was held at Shangri-La Hotel in Jakarta, Indonesia on 28-29 September 2010. The speakers were invited not only from Japan and Indonesia, but also from Australia and Singapore. About 20 scientists presented the results of their researches and about 200 people attended the meeting.
At the opening ceremony Mr. Suharna Surapranata, State Minister for Research and Technology, declared the opening of the seminar, and thereafter, Dr. Ratna Sitompul, Dean of Faculty of Medicine, University of Indonesia, Dr. Hak Hotta, Director of CID, Mr. Mitsuhiro Ushio, Executive Technical Advisor, Human Development Department (JICA), and Mr. Shigeo Okaya, Director, Strategic Programs Division, Science and Technology Policy Bureau (JST) expressed their hopes for this project. After the opening ceremony, Prof. Duane J. Gubler, Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School Singapore (Duke-NUS), gave a lecture on the recent epidemiological analysis on dengue fever. Next, Prof. Hak Hotta, the Project Representative, made general introduction on hepatitis C and clinical meanings of HCV genetic heterogeneity to be associated with this project.
At the next session of the seminar, Associate Prof. Eiji Konishi, CID, Leader of Dengue DNA Vaccine Research Group, made a lecture on Japan-Indonesia collaborative research on Dengue DNA vaccine. The 2nd day of the seminar, Prof. Mark von Itzstein, Griffith University, Australia, addressed on drug development research focused on antiviral drugs for influenza, and Dr. Tatsuo Miyamura, Former Director-General, National Institute of Infectious Diseases (NIID) spoke about the global polio eradication program. In addition to hepatitis C and dengue fever, other important research papers of viral infectious diseases including H5N1 influenza (bird flue), hepatitis B, and herpes simplex virus infection were presented at the general session, and participants eagerly participated in the discussion.
The successful meeting ended with the closing address by Dr. Agus Purwadianto, Director General, National Institute of Health, Research and Development, Ministry of Health, Indonesia, who read closing messages from Dr. Endang Rahayu Sedyaningsih, the Indonesian Minister of Health. Through this seminar both Japanese and Indonesian researchers recognized the importance of infectious diseases once again, and international networks on infectious diseases should be strengthened by Japan-Indonesia collaboration of governments and researchers. The CID has a plan to hold seminars regularly, and will send out the results of collaborative studies to the people in the world.

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