Info letter

Info letter

Abstract submission deadline is prolonged till 01 JUL 2014

The Join Meeting The XVIII International Symposium on Gnotobiology (XVIII-ISG) III International Ecologic Forum “Environment and human health” (EcoForum)

St-Petersburg, Russian Federation
September 21-24, 2014


Park Inn Pribaltiyskaya Нotel

14, Korablestroiteley st., 199226, St-Petersburg, Russian Federation


Early registration deadline 31 May 2014

Abstract deadline 1 july 2014

Welcome address

It is a great pleasure to be able to welcome you to the XVIII International Symposium on Gnotobiology (XVIII – ISG) together with the III International Ecologic Forum “Environment and human health” (EcoForum) that will take place on September 21-24, 2014 in Saint-Petersburg, Russian Federation. This important scientific event will be devoted to the cutting-edge developments indifferent areas of microbiology, microecology, genomics, metabolomic, microbe free animals research and will be of special interest for many participants in different scientific, applied and clinical fields. Recent developments in the analysis of the microbiota and its functioning in the organisms of mammals will beaddressed pre-clinical and clinical trials employing the prophylaxis and therapy of different pathological conditions associated with micro-ecology disorders will be addressed.

We hope the XVIII –ISG and EcoForum will attract many specialists in the fields of microbiology, gnotobiology, gastroenterology, molecular genetics, metabolomics, bioinformaticsinfectious and somatic diseases, biothechnologyfrom all over the world first of all from Russia and the neighboring former USSR countries. It will be a great opportunity for the exchange and promotion of our research ideas and establishing long-lasting high quality scientific collaboration.

In addition, we also hope everybody will enjoy presented social program during staying in Saint-Petersburg.

Welcome to Saint-Petersburg – scientific and cultural capital of Russia, city of canals, theatres and museums!


A.N. Suvorov

Professor, Doctor of science

Head of the Department of molecular microbiology

Institute of Experimental Medicine



G.A. Sofronov

Professor, Doctor of science

Vice president of the Russian Academy of Medical science

Director of the Institute of Experimental Medicine


XVIII- ISG and E&HH Forum

Honorary Presidents

Sofronov G.A. (Academician of Russian Academy of Medical sciencesVice president of the Russian Academy of Medical sciences, Professor, Director of the Institute of Experimental Medicine, St-Petersburg)

Pokrovskiy V.I. (Academician of Russian Academy of Medical sciencesProfessor, Director of Central Epidemiology Institution, Moscow)


Suvorov A.N. (Professor, Head of the Department of Molecular Microbiology, Institute of Experimental Medicine)

International Scientific Advisors

B. Shenderov  – President of IGA (Russia)
A. Bomba (Slovakia)
P. Carter (USA)
P. Heidt (Netherland)
T. Haertle (France)
S.-H. Im (Korea)
S. Kamiya (Japan)  
S. Kimura (Japan)  
H.- T. Lee, (Korea)    
T. Midtvedt (Sweden)  
M. Mikelsaar (Estonia)
E. L. Norin ( Sweden)  
G. Novick(Belarus)
Nadiya Boyko (Ukraine)
X. Shen (China)
J. Tagg (New Zealand)
L. Vieira (Brazil)
I. Lenoir-Wijnkoop (France)



Local advisors

Aleshkin V.A. (Professor, Director of Gabrichevsky Moscow Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology)

Lobzin U.V. (Academician of Russian Academy of Medical sciencesProfessor, Director of the Scientific and research Institute of the Children’s Infections)

Iliin V.K. (Professor, Head of Microbiology Department, Institute of medico-biological problems of the Russian Academy of sciences)

Tkachenko E.I. (Senior gastroenterologist of Saint-Petersburg, Professor, Head of the Department of Introduction into internal diseases, I.I. Mechnikov North-West State medical university).

Simanenkov V.I. (Professor, Head of the department of therapy and clinical pharmacology, I.I. Mechnikov North-West State medical university)

Dmitriev A.V. (Doctor of biological sciences, deputy director of the Institute of Experimental Medicine)

Zacharenko S.M. (Assistant professor, Head of the Department S.M. Kirov Military medical academy)


Registration fee in euro


Early registration


May 31 2014

Standard registration

June 01 2014 -

Aug 31 2014

Late registration

Sep 01 2014 -

Sep 20 2014

On-site registration











Accompanying person






*-For student registration a recommendation letter from a supervisor is needed


Secretariat office contacts:

Telephone +7-812-234-93-19


Fax +7-812-234-94-70



Web site:


International Association for Gnotobiology  会長

Boris A. Shenderov先生からのOpen letter

6 December 2013


                             The open letter to readers of Journal of Germfree Life and Gnotobiology.

Some  reflections concerning current  state and perspectives in gnotobiology

We must advise and guide scientists that germfree animals and gnotobiology provide elegant integrated media for confirmation of their sophisticated findings (T. Midtvedt, 1996).

Symbiotic microorganisms populate a wide range of niches both on out and inside all multicellular organisms. It is now clear the host organism plays a central role in shaping the composition of the symbiotic microbiota. At the same time the large population of resident microbes is involved in the growth and development of the host, influence practically all host physiological functions, immune, biochemical (metabolic), behavior and regulatory reactions and responses, provide signals that determine support host health from pregnancy period to ageing.  Disorders of these complex and dynamic host-microbes interactions can produce various negative consequences including the risk of different chronic “diseases civilization”. Unfortunately our understanding the details  of  how the host and different environment factors regulate the microbiota compositions and functions  and of how the microbiota form host genotype, epigenotype, development, health and diseases is still not enough to work out consciously and purposefully known and novel tools and approaches improving human health. Humans are not good experimental subject for investigation of host/microbial interactions because every individual has unique metogenoepigenotype and it is difficult to control for environmental influences. Therefore, the realization of any Metagenome, Epigenome, Metabolome and Phenotypic Projects connected with human health and diseases, to receive exact answers to above mentioned main questions we should more actively involve gnotobiological models in such investigations.  To understand host-microbial interaction various stable animal and plant model have been suggested. Most of the current gnotobiotic technologies were devised during the last fifties years. They opened a new potential indication for the use of germfree (GF) and controlled microflora (gnotobiotes)  animals (mice, rats, neonatal pigs, miniature swine),  zebrafish, some invertebrates, plants  and so on.  It is necessary to note that vast majority of such models have been mainly working out on the basis of empiric approaches. Since that time various GF animals and gnotobiotes have become good models for examining the wide-ranging impacts of the microorganisms on the host traditional morphology, physiology and metabolism or their associations with human diseases  (on the architecture of various tissues, on microbial antagonism including safety and efficacy of probiotic bacteria, on the participation of the microbial flora in normal and pathological gastrointestinal physiology,  in the pathogenesis and prevention of different microbial infections, autoimmune and metabolic diseases, in the modulation of colonization resistance, phagocyte system and immune responses (including oral tolerance, allergy, graft-vs-host disease),  in the animal and plant nutritional metabolism and so on [Wagner, 2008; Podoprigora et al, 2012; Rawls et al, 2004; Backhed et al., 2007; Goodman et al., 2011; Lagier J-C et al., 2012].  Such studies have a rather long history. By the end of the last century many facts fell into place and it could be said that the biological basis for understanding of the host/microbiota interactions in health and diseases became much clearer.  Thus, gnotobiological models have proven their worth in studies of the complicated links between symbiotic microorganisms and various host functions and biochemical reactions, but some results received  was unfortunately hard to interpret.  It is necessary to note gnotobiology had seen many crises, stemming mostly from fiscal considerations reflecting global instability and recession. But there is no doubt that gnotobiology  has grown into a truly multifarious discipline, encompassing everything from the basic to the clinical and biotechnology sciences, with new possibilities and approaches arising in turn from the applications in each field.

During last two decades the situation in the biomedical science associated with human health has been sharply changed.  First of all the idea suggested in 70-80th years last century  that  many host functions and metabolic reactions  in the mammalian organisms are closely connected with activity of  low molecular bioactive compounds associated with  host symbiotic microbiota   has been experimentally   supported  the scientists in  Japan, USA,  some European countries, USSR and others. Accumulated plethora of experimental data received had allowed  J. Lederberg (2000) to offer the scientific concept  that “Human being is a superorganism” consisting of a consortium of vast number of representatives of Viruses, Eukarya, Bacteria and Achaea.  This notion currently has been accepted, as axiom, by the vast majority of microbial ecologists. This concept considers the adult humans are more prokaryotic than eukaryotic organism in terms of cell and especially gene number and that any phenotype is the result of complex interactions between genotype, epigenome, and environment.  To receive objective and  the most full information regarding the superorganism behavior in various environment conditions  and investigate in details of host/microbe interactions in the physiological and extreme situations  the set of novel molecular, genetic  and biochemical “OMIC”- technologies have been worked out and  introduced into the bio- medical science and practice: genomics and metagenomics which analysis the human genome and microbiome structure; epigenomics and metaepigenomics that investigate when and how certain genes in eukaryotic and prokaryotic cells are turned on or off without alterations in the DNA nucleotide sequence; transcriptomics, which measures mRNA transcript levels;  proteomics, which quantifies protein abundance and spectrum; metabolomics, which determines abundance of low molecular weight cellular metabolites that enable quantitative monitoring of the multiple of various biological molecules and their interactions in the human body; phenomics  that both qualitatively and quantitatively measures organism phenome  changes in the response to genetic and epigenetic  changes caused by various environmental factors and agents [Tuohy et al., 2009; Nicholson et al., 2012; Shenderov, 2012; 2013; Hood, 2012]. The multidisciplinary “omics” approach is a powerful tool for understanding the functional symbiotic interplay of human eukaryotic and prokaryotic cells and dynamics of molecular modifications of this multi – cellular system in different environment conditions. Accumulation of “omic” databases especially integrated and their bioinformatic analysis permits better understanding molecular bases of the health, wellbeing and diseases of man and animal. Advances in the mentioned above OMIC- fields especially coupled with current  and novel gnotobiotic technologies ,  today open a new era in characterizing the role of the symbiotic microbiota in the host genomic and epigenomic stability,  metabolomics  and phenotypic alterations and have far reaching implications in the conception relevant to the health, wellbeing  and metabolic diseases in man and animal. Understanding how small molecules of microbial origin interact with the genome and epigenome, physiological functions, metabolism and multiple signal transduction pathways of concrete GF animals and gnotobiotes in the ordinary and various stress conditions will permit to design a new generations of genetic and epigenetic –based drugs and functional foods (including personal) for curing complex chronic metabolic diseases (metabolic syndrome associated diseases, cancer, etc).

I am sure that in the nearest  future gnotobiotic technologies as well as gnotobiotes and animals derived from them  (specific pathogen free (SPF),  specific microbe containing  (SMC) animals, insects, fishes and plants, including first of all various “humanized animals” (HA)  artificially inoculated by microbiota  taken from various biotopes of  human being of different age, sex and belonging to different races, tribes or living in various ecological or nutritional conditions animals,) will be more readily available and sensitive than previous models; they will  be easier to use in research, medicine and industry. It will permit to incorporate germfree and associated gnotobiotic techniques more actively and widely into biomedical sciences. Various transgenic and knockout gnotobiotic models (including GF transgenic animal models with receptors for specific representatives of human symbiotic microbiota) inoculated with human flora and possessing defined physiological functions, biochemical and behavior reactions will be designed.  According to my opinion it is extremely important to organize the industrial  production of  tissue cell lines received from  different GF and “humanized”  animals (fish, insect, etc) with  various sets of “healthy or sick” numerous microbes for research and commercial purposes.  Many interesting data it is possible to receive  searching for bioactive low molecular weight molecules  of food or microbe origin (metabiotics) [Shenderov, 2013] that can modified  host/microbe  reciprocal effects  in various designed  ‘humanized animals’ as well as in SPF, SMC, conventional  animals and  in the different  tissue culture lines received from such gnotobiotes .  For instance, such tissue culture lines  (including higher plant germfree cultures) may be a very useful technique for studying microbial metabiotic effects to  cell organelles, signal transduction, chromatin and nuclear signaling because of there simplicity. Nowadays a vast majority of vivaria contains experimental animals of various commercial breeder origin. So they could have variable indigenous microbiota compositions especially on the strain level. Such situation can deeply influence the experimental results. So I completely agree with Dr. Lora Hooper (USA, 2012) about necessity to work out the different standardized microbiota in isobiotic animals (as well as different GF, SPF, SMS, HA standard tissue culture lines) which can be shared between research organizations to exclude non reproducible experimentation results. These gnotobionts and tissue culture  lines  could become the novel  research approach to address human health understanding in the near future because such in vivo and  ex vivo investigations possess potential ability to recognize in details the role of human intestinal microorganisms  (their metabolites or cell compounds)  in the molecular processes associated with  the formation of cell genome and epigenome, their stability, with the modulation of epigenetic regulation of gene phenotypic expression in eukaryotic cells; these tools could improve our understanding how the host microbiota interfere into the information exchange, different signaling pathways (physiological and pathological) in eukaryotic cell systems playing an important role in cell growth, proliferation, senescence, apoptosis, cell  cancer  transformation and metastasis, etc. Host/microbiota interactions are mostly investigated with bacteria that live  in the gastro-intestinal tract. But other body surfaces (skin, respiratory and urogental tracts) also are harbored by numerous microbial communities including viruses, bacteriophages, fungi, protozoa, and other organisms. So it is desirable to design the special gnotobiological models for examination what way the indigenous microbiota living at these sites of human body participate in host/microbes crosstalk. The important direction of experimental gnotobiology is investigation of the formation of developing epigenomic program in the fetus, neonatal and infant periods as well its realization through lactation, hard and more long-term period of time. I should like to remind that the term “epigenomic programming” describes the process during first 1000 days of human being life through which exposure of life style of pregnant women (diet, physical activity, occupation, income, bad habits), as well as effects of environment exogenous (medicines, pathogen  microbes, various pollutants) and endogenous (hormones, indigenous host microbiota) factors and agents during pregnancy and nursing period can stimulate or suppress fetal and newborn growth and development resulting in permanent functional and metabolic changes in utero and  in offspring, increase of susceptibility to disease later in the  infant, school, juvenile and adult age. For instance, it is known epigenetics plays an essential role in unfolding the genetic program for development. Using modern OMIC-technologies, it would be possible to screen very large numbers of cells  taken from  various designed  ‘humanized animals’, GF, SPF, SMC, C  model animals in order to detect an occasional one which may has various  genomic, epigenomic, metabolic, phenomic  and other  changes  (e.g. methylated and  demethylated  DNA,  histone modifications,  signaling alterations,  telomere maintenance,  mitochondria metabolism and so on).   Host physiological homeostasis during normal development, in the adult and aging organism also depends on many interactions between various cells. The cell contacts occur via various cell receptors, signal diffusible hormones, growth factors and/or other low molecular weight bioactive molecules the quantity and quality of which could be affected with aging. It means the phenotypic characteristics and cell populations taken from young, adult and old model animals would be compared. Such comparative approach helps to better understand the physiological, biochemical and signal parameters associated with epigenetic changes really occuring during aging.  Using the models of cultured mammalian cells received from GF and different gnotobiotes it is possible also to make accurate measurements whose changes in phenotype are due to specific epimutations, chromatin alterations, post- translated  protein modifications  or connected with changes  of cell receptors and  effector molecules  and what of them could contribute to the disorder of physiological homeostasis, which is a major feature of aging. Particular attention should be given also to gnotobiological investigations connected with neurotransmitter producing, with microecological engineering . For example, it is known the human behavior is determined by coordinated work of complex microbe-gut-brain axis. Various gnotobiological models permit to understand in details the role of each component of mentioned axis in the development of different behavior reactions in various environmental conditions. The similar approach may be used and with other chronic metabolic diseases. Creation of “personalized” gnotobiotic models permits to work out novel types of drugs, foods and evaluate their activity for strictly defined individuals.    The use of above mentioned models permits to also examine how various uncharacterized or uncultivable representatives of host microbiota  or their metabolites  deeply affects  different physiological  systems, metabolic and behaviour reactions, expression of  host and microbial genes. Combination using of such models with putative “omic-“ based molecular biomarkers  will  expedite the understanding of molecular mechanisms of the host- microbe  interactions, disease risk and  can become a powerful tool providing information for design  of new generations of functional foods and drugs with protective or curing activity.

Among some goals of biotechnological gnotobiology  in the coming years it should be named  the commercial production of  different germfree animals and gnotobionts with standard defined microbiota as well as various  lines of tissue cultures  from them; the use of SPF animals as producers of monoclonal antibodies and GF animals – for accumulation and exploiting  of some  uncultivated microorganisms as  a resource of novel biologically active microbial natural products; organization of national and international commercial cryobanks for longtime maintaining  human, animal and bird symbiotic microbiocenoses under invariable conditions. Such cryobank may be used for creation of simple and complex autoprobiotics, the most effective and harmless remedies for supporting host microbiota at the optimal level. It  should emphasize the clinical application of gnotobiological approach also continues to be extremely important in practical medicine helping to prevent the development of hospital infections and distribution of antibiotic resistant microorganisms, to improve clinical and  economical effectiveness. The creation of mobile gnotobiological isolator units for 1-3 beds could be especially beneficial  in the such situations as earthquakes, terroristic acts, local military  operations and so on. Recently it has been shown the possibility of transplantation of previously frozen fecal microbiota from certain human donor into germ-free mice. Donor’s gut microbial human communities could successfully maintain in these recipient gnotobiotic mice during several generations especially if such transplanted mice were fed with corresponding human diet.  The use of such intentionally colonized animals can permit more accurately to work out the personalized foods, drugs, immune-biological compounds and allow us better understanding how this personalized microbiota and different food and medicine agents act in selected individuals.

Dear readers of Journal of Germfree Life and Gnotobiology.  On 21-23 September 2014 in Saint-Petersburg (Russian Federation) the XVIII International Symposium on Gnotobiology (XVIII – ISG) together with the III International Ecologic Forum “Environment and human health” will be hold. This scientific event will be devoted to the cutting-edge developments in different areas of Gnotobiology, Microbial Ecology, OMIC-technologies, Probiotics and other scientific and applied aspects connected with symbiotic, opportunistic and pathogenic  microbes. Without doubts the recent developments in the analysis of the microbiota and its functioning in the organisms will be of special interest for all participants involved in the  traditional, biochemical, molecular, evolutional, clinical  and biotechnological  gnotobiology connected with human, animal and plant health. This scientific forum will create the brilliant possibilities for distribution and exchange the current and novel scientific and applied information among different specialists working in field of Gnotobiology, Microbial Ecology, Biomedical, Veterinary Sciences and Biotechnology connected  with  different microorganisms and their associations.  I hope the participants of future ECOFORUM will discuss suggestions presented, give novel proposals for further development of Gnotobiology arising this branch of biomedical science on more higher level.

Welcome to Saint-Petersburg – scientific and cultural capital of Russia.

Best regards

Boris A. Shenderov

President of International Association for Gnotobiology  (2011-2014)

Professor, Doctor of Medical Science




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