2020 Activity Report vol.4:Kitasato University

Activity Report of Open Application Program 2020 vol.4 (Online)

Clarification of Characteristics in Whole Genome Sequences Using Korean-Derived Hemolytic Streptococcus Strains

Report from the Department of Infection Control and Immunology,
Ōmura Satoshi Memorial Institute, Kitasato University

[Exchange Background and Purpose of Visit]

Participating institutions, Faculty of Medicine of Gyeongsang National University of the Republic of Korea, located in the southern part of South Korea, are the core national university medical faculties in the region. They are responsible for local medical care as annexes to the affiliated hospital. They bring together outstanding students in the same medical school, and practice life sciences research through the advancement to the graduate school. In January of 2015, 2016 and 2017, with the support of the Sakura Science Program joint research activities, undergraduate students (5 people) from the same medical were accepted in this laboratory to guide experimental procedures and research plans. This has been used as an opportunity to continue exchanges such as conducting laboratory visits on both sides. However, because of the effects of the pandemic in 2020, it was impossible to visit each other's laboratories. For that reason, an online exchange was started as an alternative. The objective was to lead to the preparation of co-authored research papers by sharing data analysis techniques held by each other's laboratories.

[Exchange Content]

Hemolytic streptococcus pyogenes is a pathogenic bacterium for humans. The bacteria has also caused localized purulent disease and serious systemic diseases in the country. However, it is unclear how hemolytic streptococcus in the country was acquired and evolved its pathogenicity. Therefore, collaborative research was started to estimate pathogenic and evolutionary sequences on a genomic basis by utilizing 87 strains of this bacterium separated between 1997 and 2017 (a 20-year period) and acquiring the entire genomic sequence. All genomic sequences were clarified in the country, and registration in the US NCBI database was completed.

This time, data analysis techniques to estimate pathogenic and evolutionary sequences using the same genomic sequences shared online were once again confirmed, and the main content is that both laboratories can practice.

As a specific content, the following five stages were developed.

  • “Meetings to share the progress of joint research"
  • “Lectures on data analysis technology"
  • “Sharing research results and Q&A"
  • “Confirmation and further revisions to the contents of the co-authored research papers for submission"
  • “Discussions on Future Collaborative Research Projects”

[Exchange Results and Issues]

The online exchange was ended on January 14, 2021. The outline of a co-authored research paper was completed, leaving only minor additions and corrections. It is expected to be the result of the same exchange. However, the difficulty of bi-directionality was felt as a challenge for online exchanges in a short period of time. Specifically, during this online exchange, this lab was the host, and the other lab was developed as a guest, but occasionally a situation was encountered where it was unidirectional from the host to the guest.