Members of the Health Research and Development Consortium Region IV-A once again attended and participated in this year’s Philippine National Health Research System Week (PNHRS) Week with the theme “Research and Innovations in Health: Empowering and Transforming Communities”. PNHRS Week is celebrated every second week of August by virtue of Proclamation No. 1309. Pre-conferences were held on 22-23 August 2017 among which are the following: SHARE: Rallying Communicators for Science, Technology and Innovation in Health attended by the team of Prof. Susan Sta. Ana, Chair of HRDCR IV-A Committee on Research Utilization. SHARE stands for Society of Health Research Communicators; it is a community of communicators who share health research stories, advocacies and local and national initiatives; Emerging Issues in Research Ethics attended by the members of the Ethics Committee members; A national consultation on the development of technical review board manual for Regional Health Research and Development Consortia (RHRDC) – the development of the said manual aims to simplify the processes and documentation of the RHRDC-Research Management Committees operations while maintaining high standards, transparency and accountability.

 

Also included in the week’s celebration were the Inter-regional Oral Paper Presentation and Poster Exhibit Contest of completed research papers (Professional and Student Category). Dr. Norbel Tabo of De La Salle University-Dasmarinas (DLSU-D) won the 1st prize in the oral research presentation for his study entitled “Prevalence of Leptospira in Abattoir Workers, Slaughtered Animals and Abattoir Environment in Cavite, Philippines”. For the student oral research presentation, the study entitled “Hypoglycemic Potential of Coffea canephora Pierre ex A. Froehner (ROBUSTA) Fruit Pulp Extract in Alloxan-induced Diabetic Rats” won the 3rd prize. The study was presented by Ms. Frances Diane P. Gelle of DLSU-D. On the other hand, a research from  De La Salle Health Sciences Institute entitled “Antiangiogenic Properties of Ethanolic Extract of Ipomoea batatas (Sweet Potatoes) Peeling” by Ms. Joane D. Bañez and Jannah Meara J. Baybay was chosen as finalist in the student poster category.

 

The event also highlighted the Consortia Exhibit that featured the RHRDC’s activities and the fellowship night which showcased the country’s rich cultural diversity depicted through dance numbers made by the members and staff of RHRDCs.

 

 

The study entitled "Prevalence of Leptospira in Abattoir Workers, Slaughtered Animals and Abattoir Environment in Cavite, Philippines" by Dr. Norbel A. Tabo of the De La Salle University-Dasmarinas was awarded 1st place in the 11th Philippine National Health Research System (PNHRS) Oral Research Presentation, Professional Category. This was held on August 24-25, 2017 at the Philippine International Convention Center, Pasay City. This is the HRDCR IV-A's first 1st place at the PNHRS Oral Research Presentation.  Below is the abstract of the study.

 

ABSTRACT

Leptospirosis is known to be endemic in the Philippines with disease incidence that peaks during rainy season or after heavy rains in flood-prone areas. During summer, occupationally at-risk groups such as farmers, abattoir workers, and garbage collectors are affected. Strategies to prevent and control leptospirosis have been done for years yet the number of cases continues to be high. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of antibodies to Leptospira among abattoir workers and slaughtered animals, and Leptospira serovars in slaughtered animals and abattoir environment in Cavite, Philippines.Serum samples obtained from 46 abattoir workers and 69 slaughtered animals were subjected to microscopic agglutination test (MAT). The MAT-screening positive sera were further subjected to MAT quantitation with a cut-off titer of 400 in humans and 20 in animals. The urine of 69 slaughtered animals and 72 environmental samples were subjected to culture. Culture-positive samples were subjected to rrl-PCR, flaB-PCR and serotyping using monoclonal/polyclonal antibodies.

The results showed that 15.2% of abattoir workers in selected abattoirs of Cavite province were positive for Leptospira-agglutinating antibodies, that reacted with serovars Canicola, Hurtsbridge, Losbanos, Poi and Ratnapura. These workers were assigned in dehairing, abattoir cleaning and butchering of pigs, and gut removal, gut cleaning, hide removal, and butchering in cows. On the other hand, the overall Leptospira-seropositivity in slaughtered animals was 58.0%, 61.7% of which was in pigs and 33.3% in cows. The most frequently occurring serovar in pigs was Poi with 38.3%, followed by Icterohaemorrhagiae strain Ictero No. 1 (18.3%), Copenhageni (16.7%), Semaranga (10.0%) and Icterohaemorrhagiae strain RGA (8.3%). However, the most frequently occurring serovar in cows was Poi (22.2%).Twenty five percent (18/72) of the environmental samples were positive for Leptospira. Of these, 5 samples were positive for flaB-PCR. These samples were considered as pathogenic and were observed in Noveleta, Imus City and Bacoor City abattoir. Of the five pathogenic isolates, one isolate reacted with serogroup Grippotyphosa while the remaining four isolates did not react with any of the monoclonal and polyclonal antibodies. On the other hand, none of the 69 urine samples were positive for culture.

The presence of common serovars at the interface of both abattoir workers-slaughtered animals, and slaughtered animals-abattoir environment could indicate continual source of leptospires and could pose problems on human health. These serovars could be potential candidates for the development of vaccines and diagnostic tests.

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