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Brisbane to host streptococcal diseases symposium

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Brisbane to host streptococcal diseases symposium
The Lancefield International Symposium on Streptococci and Streptococcal Diseases (LISSSD) will be held in Brisbane in 2025.

Streptococcus bacteria cause a variety of diseases in humans, including Strep A, which causes around 500,000 deaths around the world each year.

More than 500 streptococci experts are expected to gather at Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre (BCEC) for the 2025 meeting.

The conference win comes as Australian research on Strep A has led to world-first vaccine trials for the infection.

Australia’s winning bid to host the symposium was led by Professor Michael Good AO and Associate Professor Manisha Pandey, from Griffith University’s Institute for Glycomics, who were jointly responsible for the breakthrough which resulted in the vaccine currently being tested. Good is a BCEC Advocate. The bid was delivered in collaboration with BCEC, Brisbane Economic Development Agency (BEDA) and Tourism and Events Queensland (TEQ).

“We are delighted to support our internationally renowned researchers in attracting these important meetings to Brisbane and Australia, particularly with Brisbane’s world leading expertise in vaccine development,” said BCEC’s general manager Kym Guesdon.

“It has been our honour to enjoy a decade-long relationship with key leaders in this field, including Professor Michael Good AO.”

Organisers of the Australian iteration of the international symposium have proposed to use the 2025 event to launch a conference on rheumatic heart disease, a complication of Step A infection. The conference would be anchored in Brisbane before progressing to rotate around Australia and internationally. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have the highest rate of rheumatic heart disease in the world, with approximately 100 deaths in Australia per year, 90 per cent of which are Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

“There has been a five-fold increase in Strep cases globally in the last two years and if our vaccine proves effective, we believe it has the ability to control the pandemic, particularly in remote overcrowded communities which have a lack of primary treatment and care,” said Good.

Brisbane Lord Mayor, Adrian Schrinner, noted Brisbane’s strong track record in vaccine development.

“Brisbane is a global research and immunology powerhouse, famous for pioneering world-firsts including the [cervical] cancer vaccine Gardasil which is saving lives around the world,” said Schrinner.

“This conference is not only significant for our local economy, but an opportunity to drive lasting scientific and social change around the world.”

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