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Overview

We would like to invite you to the 4th International Blastocystis Conference that will take place in Heraklion (Crete, Greece), between 17–19 September 2024. The day before the conference (17 September 2024) we will organise two parallel optional workshops, one on the Epidemiology of Blastocystis (Working Group 1 of the COST Action) and the other one on subtyping (Working Group 2 of the COST Action).

The Blastocystis conferences aim to gather leading researchers in the field to promote and stimulate cross-disciplinary interactions and establish long-term international collaborations. Renowned scientists will present plenary lectures on current topics. Young investigators are especially encouraged to participate and they will be given priority to present.

The conference is co-sponsored by the Microbiology Society and the Blastocystis Under One Health COST Action.

Organisers:

  • Dr. Anastasios Tsaousis (University of Kent, UK)
  • Dr. Eleni Gentekaki (University of Nicosia, Cyprus)
  • Dr. Anja Godfrey (University of Kent, UK)
  • Dr. Panagiota Ligda (Hellenic Agricultural Organisation, Greece)

Scientific committee:

  • Funda Dogruman-Al, University of Gazi (Türkiye)
  • Kevin Tan – National University of Singapore (Singapore)
  • Eleni Gentekaki – University of Nicosia (Cyprus)
  • Rune Stensvold – Statens Serum Institut (Denmark)
  • Katerina Jirku – Institute of Parasitology Ceske Budejovice (Czech Republic)
  • Anastasios (Tasos) Tsaousis – University of Kent (UK)

Further information will be announced in the build up to the meeting on our social media channels and you can follow us on Twitter @MicrobioSoc using the hashtag #Blastocystis24

Programme

Programme sessions:

Diagnosis and molecular characterisation

This session aims to shed light on the latest developments in the diagnosis and molecular characterisation of Blastocystis, providing a comprehensive overview of current knowledge and future directions.

Epidemiology and One Health

This session is focused on the intersection of Blastocystis epidemiology and the One Health approach, an integrated perspective on health that recognises the interconnections between people, animals, plants, and their shared environment.

Intestinal ecology (gut microbiome)

This session is dedicated to exploring the complexities of Blastocystis role in intestinal ecology and the gut microbiome. The session aims to unravel the multifaceted roles of Blastocystis in the gut microbiome in health and disease, including its influence on metabolism, immunity, and even behaviour.

Clinical significance and association(s) to gastrointestinal diseases

This session aims to delve deep into the clinical significance of Blastocystis infections and explore its complex associations with various gastrointestinal diseases. It will examine the latest research findings, diagnostic challenges, and therapeutic strategies, with a focus on understanding the pathogenic potential of Blastocystis.

Evolutionary biology and advances in ‘omics

This session aims to explore the evolutionary biology of Blastocystis, shedding light on how 'omics' technologies—genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, and metabolomics—have revolutionised our understanding of this organism. From uncovering its complex phylogeny to understanding its metabolic capabilities and interactions with the host, this session will provide a comprehensive overview of the cutting-edge research in the field.

A more detailed programme will be announced soon. Stay tuned!

Registration

Registration is now open.

Microbiology Society members get heavily subsidised registration fees for Annual Conference, Focused Meetings and other Society events – both online and in-person. Join now to enjoy these discounts and many other opportunities that are designed for microbiologists at all stages of their career.

All speakers and poster presenters will be attending in-person.

Excluding Workshop

Membership type – Excluding optional workshop (18 & 19 September 2024) Early Bird Discount. Rates close on 1 July 2024, 23:59 BST Full Price
Microbiology Society Full member – for those with an academic or professional interest in microbiology € 315 € 375
Microbiology Society Student member - for those registered for a higher degree / studying at undergraduate level € 200 € 235
Microbiology Society Concessionary member– for those with an academic or professional interest in microbiology earning less than £35,000 (or equivalent) per year € 280 € 330
Non-member € 445 € 490

Including Workshop

Membership type – Including optional workshop (17, 18 & 19 September 2024) Early Bird Discount. Rates close on 1 July 2024, 23:59 BST Full Price
Microbiology Society Full member – for those with an academic or professional interest in microbiology € 315 €375
Microbiology Society Student member - for those registered for a higher degree / studying at undergraduate level € 200 € 235
Microbiology Society Concessionary member– for those with an academic or professional interest in microbiology earning less than £35,000 (or equivalent) per year € 280 € 330
Non-member € 445 € 490

Registration confirmation 

Upon registration, you should receive an automated confirmation email. Please contact [email protected] if, after 24 hours, this has not been received.

Payment information

All registration fees must be paid in full BEFORE arrival at the conference. Any outstanding registration fees must be paid before admittance will be granted to the conference.

Cancellations

Refunds are not provided. However, substitutions of attendees can be made at any time before the event by contacting [email protected].

Abstracts

Abstract submission for the Blastocystis 2024 is now open and will close at 23:59 BST on Tuesday 30 April 2024.

Submit abstract now

 

Both members and non-members of the Microbiology Society are welcome to submit an abstract for the meeting. All offered talks presentations and posters will be selected from the abstracts submitted. Once submissions are closed, they will be reviewed by the session organisers and submitters will be notified of the outcome from end of May. By submitting an abstract to this conference, you are indicating to the session organisers your commitment to attend the event.

Abstracts are welcome for any of the following topics:

  • Diagnosis and molecular characterisation
  • Epidemiology and One Health
  • Intestinal ecology (gut microbiome)
  • Clinical significance and association(s) to gastrointestinal diseases
  • Evolutionary biology and advances in ‘omics

Abstract Guidance

Abstracts must be a maximum of 250 words. The Society has produced a guide to give delegates some tips on how to write a great abstract, which can be downloaded below:

Please note that the abstract is the only information session organisers use when deciding whether to accept your work for presentation as an offered oral or poster. If accepted, it will also be published in the abstract book for the meeting – so think carefully about what needs to be included.

Venue, Accommodation & Travel

The conference will take place at the Aquila Atlantis Hotel.

Aquila Atlantis Hotel offers a limited number of rooms with breakfast at a discount for conference delegates for the nights of 16–21 September 2024. Please see the special rates below.

Room type  Use  Rates
Classic room with Urban View ( with window)

Single │ Double

140,00 € │ 157,00 €

Executive room Harbor view (with balcony)

Single │ Double

176,00 €

The above rates are per room / night on Bed & Breakfast basis and do not include the environmental tax (10,00 € / room/ night), which is payable by the guests upon arrival.

If you have any questions or need assistance with accommodation arrangements, please email the Aquila Atlantis Hotel reservations team at [email protected]. They will be happy to assist you with any inquiries.

Reservations: [email protected]

Telephone number: +30 2818 100 100

Contact person: Mrs. Marilena Serlidaki

MAP HERE

Aquila Atlantis Hotel is located at 2, Igeias Str., 71202 Heraklion, Crete, Greece.

The property is located in Heraklion city centre only a 15-minute drive from Heraklion International Airport.

Directions

Car Parking:

Private parking onsite at the venue is available for a limited number of vehicles.

Airport:

Heraklion International Airport, Heraklion Nikos Kazantzakis, AIRPORT, Heraklion, GR, 71408 71408 Heraklion

Grants and Prizes

Please note that delegates can only apply to one of the grant below and not both. 

COST Action grant

COST Action CA21105 will reimburse a certain amount of travel and other expenses to successful applicants. We hope to showcase our Blastocystis Action’s main achievements and extend our network. This conference will be an opportunity to create new collaborations and to reinforce existing ones, contribute to the progress of our Action’s work. The reimbursement of incurred expenses for accommodation, meals, and short distance travel (defined as less or equal to 100 km one way) is paid as one lump-sum amount of 204 Euros per day.

The funding application form will be released by 1 May 2024.

Society Events Grant

Applications for the Society Events Grant to support members attending Blastocystis 2024 will open on 31 May 2024 and close on Friday 14 June 2024 23:59 BST.

Grants will act as contribution towards registration, travel, and accommodation expenses only.

Eligibility requirements:

Eligible membership categories:

  • Full Member
  • Full Concessionary Member
  • Postgraduate Student Members
  • Undergraduate Student Members

Minimum membership period required:

A minimum membership period of one year and two consecutive membership payments is required. Postgraduate and Undergraduate with three year memberships will need to have completed one year memberships will need to have completed one year (three-year membership payment constitutes consecutive payment).

Please read all information carefully on the Society Events Grant page before submitting an application for funding.

Exhibition & Sponsorship
Exhibition and sponsorship opportunities are available for this conference. For more information, please get in touch with [email protected].
COVID-19 Mitigation statement

As part of the preparations for Microbiology Society events due to be held in 2024, the Microbiology Society Council has further discussed the implementation of SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19 mitigations and has agreed the following:

Personal responsibility:

Attendance at any Microbiology Society event is a personal choice, and Council expects delegates to take personal responsibility for their actions to minimise the spread of SARS-CoV-2.

Ventilation:

The Microbiology Society will continue to work with venues to seek assurance that these are adequately ventilated.

Vaccination and pre-event testing:

We strongly urge all delegates to ensure they are as fully vaccinated as practicable, which we recognise will depend on their age and home country, and to test before travelling to any of our events. Delegates should not attend if they test positive for SARS-CoV-2 infection. In addition, should they wish to, delegates should feel comfortable wearing a mask in any of our venues. 

Mask usage and lateral flow tests:

A limited number of masks (FFP3) and lateral flow tests will be available upon request at all Microbiology Society events should any delegates wish to use them. However, these will not be routinely supplied.

The Microbiology Society Council will continue to monitor the situation and update these mitigations as required.