Study on free-living amoebae in Los Baños volcanic mud spring wins award in Japan

A group of senior BS Medical Technology students presented their study in the Japanese Association of Clinical Laboratory Systems Congress held in Yokohama, Japan last October 6-8. The group earned the International Award for Research in the said conference.

The research focused on the isolation of a free-living amoebae in a volcanic mud spring in Los Banos, Laguna and is said to be the first surveillance study conducted in the area for potentially pathogenic free-living amoebae. The isolate can thrive to up to 80 degrees celcius and is considered the first of its kind. Free-living Amoebae can cause fatal and non-fatal infections of the brain when contracted by swimming in freshwater sources like lakes, hot springs, and swimming pools.

The research group is composed of Crisselle Celis, Isabella Caburnay, Fritz Avila, Angela Cunan, Aleli Cuevas, Kenneth Banal, J Piolo Blanco, Hannah Conol, and Asst Prof. Giovanni De Jesus Milanez, PhD as the group’s research adviser. Collaborators include Asst. Dean Ma. Frieda Z. Hapan, PhD, Department Chair Prof. Edilberto P. Manahan, PhD, and Asst Prof. Frederick Masangkay. The group received a travel grant, a plaque, and a cash prize.

The conference was participated in by researchers from Japan, Malaysia, Indonesia, Cambodia, Thailand, Taiwan, and the Philippines.

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