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Impact of INTAS on development of science at the Eliava IBMV, Tbilisi, Georgia

G. Eliava Institute of Bacteriophage, Microbiology & Virology, Tbilisi, Georgia

Speaker - Nina Chanishvili

The Institute of Bacteriophage, Microbiology and Virology was established due to the joint efforts of two  professors - a Georgian George Eliava and a French-Canadian Felix D’Herelle. The idea of phage therapy firstly announced by D’Herelle has been abandoned in West already in 40’s. One of the main reasons of this fact could be emergence of antibiotics and their fast and miraculous effect. On the contrary, this idea was successfully developed in the FSU at the IBMV. The institute gained a leading position in the field of Bacteriophage Research in the former Soviet Union and East Europe. Main research activity of the institute during the past 70 years was directed to isolation and study of the phages and non-pathogenic bacteria, having a certain medical potential for development of therapeutic and prophylactic bio-preparations.

Nowadays, the bacteriophages are considered to be the alternatives to antibiotics, especially for therapy of the diseases caused by multiply drug-resistant bacteria that do not respond to the standard methods of antibiotic therapy. Many western universities and private companies are trying to develop the phages for treatment and prophylactics of different bacterial human and animal diseases. Without INTAS support the IBMV would not be able to participate in this research and would be left far behind in this intellectual competition.

Since inception of the first INTAS grant in 1997 till 2003 up to 12 research projects have been prepared for different INTAS competitions, to the date 5 of them have been awarded  

Our group has participated also in INTAS Young Scientists competition as well.  Altogether 3 proposals have been submitted, one of them has been awarded.  Due to this awards a young scientists Ms. Nino Janelidze received an opportunity to advance her knowledge in the UK and Ireland.  

The results of the INTAS funded projects have been reported at the international conferences (1999, Hawaii, USA; 2001, Orlando, USA; 2001, Amsterdam, The Netherlands; 2002, Paris, France; 2003. Washington D.C.; 2003, Nice, France; 2003, Lubljana, Slovenia). Fourteen articles have been published in the Proceedings of the Georgian Academy of Sciences (11), Journal of Chemical Technololgy and  Biotechnology (1) and Journal of Thermal Analysis and Calorimety (2).

The group actively collaborates with a number of NIS colleagues from: Gamalea Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology (Moscow, Russia), Institute of Genetics of Industrial Microorganisms (Moscow, Russia), Institute of Epidemiology (Moscow, Russia), Kazan State University (Kazan. Russia), Institute of the Marine Ecology and Fishery (Batumi, Georgia), Institute of Virology (Odessa, Ukraine), Institute of Biology of Southren Seas (Sevastopol, Ukraine), Institute of Botany (Kiev, Ukraine), Tbilisi State University (Tbilisi, Georgia), State Zootechnical and Veterinary University  (Tbilisi, Georgia), Institute of Plant Biochemistry and Biotechnology (Tbilisi, Georgia), etc.  

The group collaborates with the following INTAS partners: Paul Barrow (UK), Henry Krisch (France), Richard Kemp (UK), Richard Sharp and Steven Leach (UK), Daniele Daffonchio (Italy), Mario Vaneehoutte (Belgium), Jim Wilson (Ireland), Jose Neptuno Rodrigues Lopes (Spain), Robert Bals (Germany), Steven Denyer (UK), R. Reissbrodt (Germany), Richard Gapes (Austria), etc.

The group has several INTAS projects:1) INTAS FOOD-2000, Prevention of food spoilage by suppression of phenoloxidase  perioxidase and growth of pathogenic micro-flora by use of natural inhibitors of plant origin, 2) INTAS-Polluted Environments - Evaluation of coastal pollution status and bio-indicators for the Black Sea (BIOBS), 3) INTAS Open Call - An epidemiological study of outbreaks of B. anthracis in Georgia.

Four new projects have been submitted recently to the INTAS Open Call 2003. The group currently prepares a proposal for conducting an INTAS conference in Tbilisi.

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