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[SCIENCE@FBW] Managing the Oral Microbiome

About this event


Oral diseases, e.g. dental caries and periodontitis, are highly prevalent globally and have a big socio-economic impact. The development and progression of both diseases are attributed to microorganisms that reside in the oral cavity. However, the presence of microorganisms alone is not dangerous. The human mouth is home to a great number of microorganisms that exist in a mutualistic relationship with the host and are referred to as the oral microbiota. External perturbations, such as changes in the diet, can disturb the balance between the oral microbiota and the host leading to the appearance of oral diseases. Both the oral health maintenance and the treatment of oral diseases heavily rely on the use of antiseptics. Although the antiseptics have been a valuable tool against oral diseases, their indiscriminate mode of action can permanently disturb the healthy oral microbiome and their extensive use can result in antiseptic-tolerant microorganisms. We worked towards unravelling the effect of antiseptic treatments on the commensal oral microbiome. Furthermore, we investigated how certain oral microorganisms develop tolerance against antiseptics and we suggested real-time flow cytometry in combination with cytometric fingerprinting as a method to quantitatively and qualitatively track the susceptibility of oral microorganisms to antiseptics. Finally, we explored the use of nitrate as an alternative approach to manipulate the oral microbiome and to control oral malodor, without the use of antiseptics.

About the speaker:

Ioanna was born and raised in Ptolemaida, Greece. She attended the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, where she obtained a Degree in Biology in 2013. In 2015, she graduated with a MSc in Systems Biology and Bioinformatics from the University of Amsterdam and VU Amsterdam. During her master’s, she completed a research project at the Life Science Research Institute at the University of Luxembourg and another project at the Systems Biology Laboratory at VU Amsterdam. After a short interval in the industry, in 2016 Ioanna joined the Center for Microbial Ecology and Technology at Ghent University as a Junior Research Assistant (until February 2022) and PhD candidate (graduated in December 2021).

During her time at Ghent University, Ioanna assisted with the courses of Microbial Ecological Processes, Molecular Microbial Techniques, Microbiomics and Environmental Microbiology. She has (co-)authored 10 publications and presented her work in national and international conferences. For one of these presentations, at Eurobiofilms 2019, she won the 'Best Student Presentation' Award. Ioanna is a proud member of the FBW volunteer group ‘Bioengineers for Diversity’ since the group's creation in 2017. Additionally, she has co-organized multiple events and has participated in different science outreach activities.

Hosted by

  • Guest speaker
    IC G
    Ioanna Chatzigiannidou