Tick Cell Culture Training Workshop 2020

6 - 10 March 2020

The Tick Cell Biobank Asia Outpost at TIDREC, Universiti Malaya, has successfully organised a tick cell culture training and isolation of Rickettsia workshop from 6 to 10 March 2020. The workshop trainees came from Indonesia, Thailand, Lao, East and Peninsula Malaysia to attend this 5 days comprehensive workshop.

Dr. Lesley Bell-Sakyi from the main Tick Cell Biobank, University of Liverpool (UoL), together with Dr. Khoo Jing Jing, TIDREC, have jointly conducted hands-on practicals and lectures in the maintenance and the use of tick cell cultures in research of tick-borne pathogens. Prof. Dr. Alistair Darby (UoL), shared his experience in using next-generation sequencing platforms to explore the genomics and transcriptomics of tick cell culture infection models.

Although unable to join us in person due to the recent travel restrictions due to COVID19, Dr. Benjamin Makepeace (UoL) and Dr Mohammad Yazid Abdad, National Centre for Infectious Diseases, Singapore, delivered their lectures real-time and online in the workshop. Dr. Makepeace’s lecture provides an overview of the diversity of Rickettsiales across the Southeast Asia. Dr. Abdad gave an insightful primer on how to use mammalian cell cultures for the isolation and propagation of rickettsial agents.

TIDREC has been appointed to establish and manage the Tick Cell Biobank Asia Outpost in collaboration with UoL in a BBSRC GCRF-funded project since 2017. This current workshop, which is also jointly funded by a Newton-Ungku Omar Funds Institutional Links project, provides a venue to increase the exposure of Southeast Asian researchers to the resources available at the biobank at Universiti Malaya, as well as encourages networking and collaborations between Southeast Asian and UK researchers working within the realms of tick-borne and rickettsial diseases.