MEDTROP Play 2021 ends with more than 3,250 participants
The event, which registered a record number of subscribers, was the first digital congress of the Brazilian Society of Tropical Medicine09/11/2021
Between October 25 and 28 MedTrop Play 2021, the first digital congress of the Brazilian Society of Tropical Medicine (SBMT), which brought the theme “Tropical diseases and neglected populations: the challenge of knowing, monitoring and caring”, brought together 628 guest speakers from Brazil and abroad (Argentina, Canada, United States, Great Britain and Italy) and a wide program, which included the presentation of 1,166 scientific papers on free themes and E-posters. The 15 rooms with simultaneous transmission offered 21 pre-congress courses, 24 conferences, 48 mini-conferences and 72 round tables. At all, there were 14 hours of content a day in one of the largest medical-scientific events in the country. The chair of MEDTROP Play 2021, Dr. Pedro Vasconcelos, celebrates the 3.257 entries, a record number of participants, and he does not hide his enthusiasm when saying that the event exceeded all expectations regarding the number of participants. And as in previous editions, the congress hosted important satellite events, among them, the VIII Virtual Workshop of REDE-TB, Entomol8, ChagasLeish, and the Covid-19 Forum.
The general coordinator of the 8th Workshop on Genetics and Molecular Biology of Tropical Disease Vector Insects (Entomol8), Dr. Sinval Pinto Brandão Filho, celebrates the events success. With 100% of the 36 speakers confirmed and present in the rooms of the three days of programming and with intense participation from the attending public, Entomol8 met our expectations, he points out. As a negative point of this format, Dr. Brandão Filho only considers the delay of the session on the first day due to a problem with the transmission system in room 10 that did not allow it to start at the scheduled time of 8:30 am, which only started at 9:15 am. Another highlight, in addition to the presentations of the lectures and the three conferences over the three days of the event, was the beautiful tribute we paid to our colleague Wanderli Pedro Tadei, head researcher and coordinator of the Malaria and Dengue Laboratory of the National Institute for Research in the Amazon (Inpa), who left us this year, remembers Dr. Brandão Filho.
The president of the organizing committee of the Chagas-Leish Meeting, Dr. Ana Yecê Pinto, emphasizes the honor and enormous challenge of virtually organizing the second moment of the event, following the same synergy of the first moment that took place in August in the form of virtual workshops. Themes flowed between applied research and basic research with an emphasis on Leishmaniasis diagnosis, prognostic biomarkers for Chagas disease and Leishmaniasis, vulnerable groups and co-infections. “In a broader way, we can highlight: Applied or Translational research in Chagas Disease, with an emphasis on surveillance of vulnerable, asymptomatic and entomological groups. This type of research uses the methodology of field research and also Clinical Trials, in which the researcher deals directly with the affected populations and simultaneously promotes their access to qualified services of intra or extra-research diagnostic and therapeutic assistance, in addition to complying with the important role in guiding the target population in prevention methods, thus creating a virtuous circle of research-access-education-research”, points out Dr. Yecê. Also according to her, in the same sense, basic research advances in the understanding of the host-parasite relationships, which allows the choice, in an increasingly accurate way, of new target molecules/antigens for the production of drugs or vaccines in very complex and long study designs, but of potential solution to disease control, if persistent. Finally, Dr. Yecê mentions the presentation of Prof. Igor Almeida, at the end of the Chagas-Leish Meeting, with studies involving Latin American Universities and the University of Texas, which use basic research to study molecules called glycans. “This type of molecule or sugars, in Professor Almeidas words, are not expressed in humans or are found cryptically in human cells. Therefore, they are extremely immunogenic for humans, leading to the production of specific antibodies against these parasites and, consequently, they are almost perfect targets both for the production of the dream vaccines and for the diagnostic differentiation of the parasite diversity”, she highlights.
The president of REDE-TB, Dr. Ethel Maciel mentions the consolidation of the partnership between the Congress of the Brazilian Society of Tropical Medicine and the Brazilian Tuberculosis Research Network REDE-TB, which has been built over many years. She admits the challenges, which were not few, of holding a completely virtual event with multiple activities taking place simultaneously, but which resulted in a very productive workshop. “For four days, we had several discussions in the various fields of tuberculosis research in Brazil and around the world, an opportunity in which we received and shared national and international experiences presented by our many guests, who crowned the event with great success”, he emphasizes. It also records the celebration of the 20th anniversary of the creation of REDE-TB, celebrated in the VIII Virtual Workshop. We had the opportunity to celebrate this moment, as well as to pay tribute to all who lent their knowledge, time and expertise to be part of this history throughout the creation and consolidation of REDE-TB, in the exercise of their functions as ex-presidents, vice presidents and partners, all with a single mission, the fight against tuberculosis. It was a moment in which we had the presence of the director of the Global Tuberculosis Program, Teresa Kasaeva, coordinators of the National Tuberculosis Program, among others, who brightened by talking about the importance of REDE-TB, both nationally and internationally, even as a reference so that other countries and other networks could be created, such as the Research Network of the BRICS countries”, she says. Finally, Dr. Maciel reiterates that the workshop was very rich and the evaluation of everyone involved is very positive. “We are already looking forward to the in-person event, in 2022, so that we can again, together with the SBMT, organize an event that can increasingly stimulate research into tuberculosis in Brazil”, she concludes.
The coordinator of the COVID-19 Forum, Dr. Júlio Croda is categorical in stating that the event brought the best researchers in Brazil on this topic to debate, understand and reflect on the present and project the future. We had three very intense days, the first of which focused on epidemiology, response to public health emergencies, successful experiences in cities and states and what could be improved. Also on the agenda was the effectiveness of vaccines, the evaluation of their effectiveness, the challenges for the coming years with regard to Covid-19 and which studies can be applied. The second day covered the control and prevention of hospital transmission, disease burden, presentation of data from the serum bank – which showed an increase in the level of antibodies after the Gamma variant and that there was also a substantial increase after the mass vaccination. “We also discussed genomic surveillance, the Gamma variant, the P1 variant, and the arrival of Delta in Brazil – and the little impact weve had so far, mainly in terms of hospitalization and death. We also had a conversation that described what it is like to communicate in science in Covids time, as well as the challenges of this communication nowadays”, adds Dr. Croda. The last day was dedicated to the clinical part, pediatric Covid, outpatient and inpatient management, Intensive Care Unit and what is the management of patients in these different scenarios, impact and clinic on the Health System after Covid. Another important theme was vulnerability and Covid-19 in Brazil, which demonstrated how the Brazilian response was impacted by social inequalities between different regions, the effect of the unequal distribution of hospital structures and how the disease burden was unequal in poorer populations, precisely because their activities do not allow for social isolation. The event closed with a discussion of the future of Covid after mass vaccination.
And the 57th MEDTROP already has a date and place set. It will take place between November 13 and 16, 2022 in the city of Belém, Pará, which has important research institutions in the area of tropical and neglected diseases. Participants will have the opportunity to get to know an area of Brazil that is still little visited by us Brazilians, which at times is more attractive to foreigners. In the middle of the Amazon, Belém do Pará, “the city of mango trees” is known for its historical and natural beauties, its gastronomy and cultural richness, as well as for being the headquarters of the Evandro Chagas Institute (IEC, renowned center for research on tropical diseases). In its 57th edition, MEDTROP will bring together people eager for scientific knowledge and news. Dont miss out on this great opportunity to expand your knowledge and discover amazing places. The warm and hospitable people of Pará await you. Come to Belém you too!