ICBAS - Instituto de Ciências Biomédicas Abel Salazar

ICBAS professors and researchers in the Biosfera programme - contamination of bathing waters

The 2024 bathing season has begun, but the greatest influx of people to the beaches is also the time of greatest risk of contamination. The people and animals that circulate in the seawater and on the sand release chemicals, such as UV filters, and waste that contribute to the proliferation of microorganisms. The Biosfera program spoke to ICBAS lecturers and researchers Adriano Bordalo e Sá, Paulo Martins da Costa, and Inês Rodrigues to learn more about the precautions bathers should take this summer.

See the full program here.

Source: RTP; Image: Unsplash.


Elementary school students presented their One Health work at ICBAS

The aim was to "make children aware that what we understand as health also includes the health of animals, plants, and the environment". To this end, the One Health Office of the Instituto de Ciências Biomédicas Abel Salazar (ICBAS) at the University of Porto launched the challenge with EB1 do Marco, from the António Sérgio School Group in Vila Nova de Gaia, and EB1 da Caramila, from the Fontes Pereira de Melo School Group in Porto, and gave birth to One Health in Schools, an initiative which, over the last few months, has publicized the One Health concept to primary school children.

The initiative initially included visits to schools to enlighten the little ones about the definition and applicability of the One Health approach. In a second phase, which took place on 21 and 26 June, the schools were received at ICBAS to present their vision of the issue.

Text adapted from UP News. Read the full story here.

The 2nd year class from Escola do Marco (Agrupamento António Sérgio, Vila Nova de Gaia) visited ICBAS to present the benefits and potential risks of having a pet.
Third-graders at Escola da Caramila (Agrupamento Fontes Pereira de Melo, Porto) worked on the theme of water scarcity on the planet.

Images: ICBAS.

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Milk beyond the glass

By Luís Pinho, Salette Reis, and Rita Cabrita | ICBAS, FFUP, LAQV-REQUIMTE, SAV (Serviços Veterinários Associados)

PORTO - Milk, besides being a food with high nutritional value, has potential that goes far beyond the glass. Global milk production and consumption of dairy products have increased, with milk playing an important role in the concept of One Health. In this context, it could be highlighted its enrichment in compounds beneficial to human health through animal nutrition; the genetic selection of A2/A2 cows to reverse difficulties in digesting milk protein; animal welfare certification programs and precision production with greater profitability and animal health; and the impact of milk production, especially from ruminant animals, on the conversion of food not consumed by humans into protein of high biological value, on the carbon cycle and the use of lower suitable agricultural land. Milk also has potential as a natural source of raw material in the production of nanoplatforms, namely lipid-based nanoparticles, protein-based nanoparticles, and even exosomes with optimal properties for oral ingestion and transport of bioactive and/or therapeutic agents, allowing to meet the needs of a growing number of people with nutritional deficiencies or who require regular medication to safeguard their health. The manipulation and modification of nanoplatforms to increase their potential and applicability as controlled drug release systems can have an important role in treating oncological and inflammatory diseases.

Image – Rita Cabrita, Salette Reis, and Luís Pinho at the ‘One Health Talk’ held at ICBAS on April 18, 2024. Credits: Begoña Pérez-Cabezas.


One Health nas Escolas

O Gabinete One Health do ICBAS está empenhado em dar a conhecer o conceito à sociedade civil e acreditamos que conversar com crianças é uma das vias mais produtivas para o fazer. Recentemente, iniciamos o programa ‘One Health nas Escolas’, cuja primeira fase contou com a visita a duas escolas primárias no Porto e Vila Nova de Gaia. Nesta atividade, foi divulgado o conceito One Health junto das crianças e foi-lhes lançado um desafio.

Nos próximos dias estes alunos virão ao ICBAS, juntamente com suas professoras e famílias, apresentar o resultado do trabalho que desenvolveram. As apresentações são abertas a toda a Comunidade ICBAS e irão decorrer nos seguintes dias e horários:

21 de junho de 2024, 14h30, Salão Nobre: Escola do Marco, com o tema ‘Animais de companhia – benefícios e cuidados’

26 de junho de 2024, 14h30, Monoblocos sala 7: Escola da Caramila, com o tema ‘Água, um bem para todos?’


ICBAS brings together PhD students for a One Health Forum

On June 13, more than 80 students from all the PhD programs of the Instituto de Ciências Biomédicas Abel Salazar (ICBAS), covering the areas of Human Health, Animal Health, and Environmental Health, took part in the One Health PhD Forum, organized by the ICBAS Office for One Health.

The aim of this meeting was to encourage scientific sharing, promote potential partnerships, publicise the transdisciplinary nature of the One Health concept, and challenge students to integrate the approach into their research.

The programme included two invited Keynotes , four oral presentation sessions involving 18 students, an 18-poster presentation session and the dissemination of 24 virtual posters. The best presentations were awarded scholarships to attend a scientific congress, one for the best oral presentation (Mariana Oliveira - 4th year student of the Doctoral Programme in Aquatic Environmental Sciences, Biology and Ecology) and another for the best poster presentation (Carla Sousa - 1st year student of the Doctoral Programme in Animal Science). An honourable mention was also awarded for the best virtual poster (Vera Constâncio - 4th year student of the Biomedical Sciences Doctoral Programme).

Most participants identified with the concept and shared the same opinion - initiatives like this are fundamental for sharing knowledge and contacting colleagues from different areas. An event to repeat!

Raquel Duarte, Professor at ICBAS and Director of INSA-Porto, was responsible for one of the Keynotes.

Images: ICBAS.


Architecture and (mental) Health closed “One Health” talks at ICBAS

“Transdisciplinary conversations, where knowledge and scientific areas as different as architecture and psychology, medicine and biology or engineering and veterinary medicine intersect” was the motto for the first series of One Health talks, organized by the One Health Office of the Instituto de Ciências Biomédicas Abel Salazar (ICBAS) of the University of Porto.

The One Health talks began in October 2023, based on the interest in deepening the concept among the ICBAS community: “In conversation with workers, we realized that there was some need to clarify the applicability of the concept, and this led us to think of a proximity proposal, which would communicate the importance of the One Health approach,” explains Adriano Bordalo e Sá, coordinator of the ICBAS One Health Office.

Read the full text here.

Source: Notícias UP; Image: ICBAS.


ICBAS brings One Health concept to schools

Making children, teenagers, and young people aware that what we understand as Health also includes the health of animals, plants and the environment is the focus of the initiative "One Health in Schools". In April and May, the concept was presented in a simple and participatory way in two primary schools in the Greater Porto region. Two different challenges, chosen by each of them, were also launched, accompanied by a practical activity alluding to the topic."

The Escola do Marco, from Agrupamento de Escolas António Sérgio in Vila Nova de Gaia, chose the topic 'Pets - benefits and care'. The students were visited by Lola the dog and heard from her guardian, the veterinarian Luísa Guardão from ICBAS, about the importance of maintaining a healthy relationship with our animals. The Escola da Caramila, from Agrupamento Fontes Pereira de Melo in Porto, chose to work on the theme 'Water, a good for everyone? After an initial talk, and thanks to the participation of marine biologist Lúcia Gomes from the ICBAS Hydrobiology laboratory, they learned how to manually make a homemade filter from recycled materials to purify water and to identify various characteristics of this precious liquid.

But the activities won't stop there. In June, these children will come to ICBAS to present the solutions to the challenges. Families will also be able to watch and learn from the research carried out by the little ones at home.

From September, the 'One Health in Schools' will reach other levels of education, with a similar format, but adapted to the motivations and expectations of each stage.

At Escola do Marco, the dog Lola was the protagonist of the activity 'Pets - benefits and care'. Image credits: Sofia A. Costa Lima.

The importance of access to drinking water was reinforced with the construction of a 'homemade' filter at the Escola da Caramila. Image credits: Sofia A. Costa Lima.

One Health PhD Forum

The One Health PhD Forum will be held at ICBAS on 13 June 2024. It is a 1-day scientific meeting in which any PhD student enrolled in an ICBAS-UP Doctoral Programme is invited to participate.

The main objective of the meeting is to promote the exchange of scientific knowledge from a One Health perspective, among all the participants. The program includes 2 keynote lectures related to relevant topics of broad interest to everyone.

PhD students can submit his/her work in the area of One Health*, to be presented in oral presentation or virtual poster format. The best presentation and the best poster will be awarded with a travel grant.

**Registration and Abstract submission are now closed**

Any member of the ICBAS community can attend this event. Registration is not required.

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Demystifying antibiotics in the environment

By Bárbara Diogo, PhD student at ICBAS/CIIMAR

PORTO - With the increase in population and constant proliferation of diseases, the amount of antibiotics used in the treatment/prevention of the most varied diseases, both in humans and animals, has increased exponentially. Antibiotics are widely recognized as one of the most effective treatments in the history of medicine (human and veterinary), however, their excessive use represents a significant threat to public and environmental health. As a consequence of their increasing use and inadequate disposal, environmental contamination by antibiotics appears to induce adverse effects on non-target organisms and favor the emergence and dissemination of resistant bacteria (resulting in a reduction in their effectiveness).

Several studies focus on some individual (e.g., mortality, changes in behavior and reproduction and behavior) and subindividual (e.g., oxidative stress, neurotoxicity) effects that antibiotics can cause in organisms at different trophic levels. Since environmental ecosystems are complex, the isolated study of these compounds can lead to inadequate and incomplete responses. Currently, the scientific community is concerned with expanding knowledge about the ecotoxicological effects of antibiotics (e.g., Sulfamethoxazole and Trimethoprim) in model species (e.g., Escherichia coli and Danio rerio, see image) and with important functions in ecosystems (e.g., decomposition, filtration) in a climate change scenario (antibiotics vs temperature variations vs pH variations). Therefore, it is important to study the effects of antibiotics on non-target organisms, considering that the natural ecosystems are exposed to several challenges simultaneously (e.g., climate changes, pollution).

The search for solutions based on an integrated, interdisciplinary research and with a One Health approach is fundamental, to mitigate the impacts associated with this problem, in order to protect human, animal, and environmental health

In Petri dishes it is possible to observe the inhibition growth of the bacterium Escherichia coli ATCC 25922 when exposed to the antibiotics Sulfamethoxazole (SMX) and Trimethoprim (TRIM); Morphological changes (→) are also observed in Danio rerioembryos, before (CTL) and after exposure to antibiotics (SMX and TRIM). Image credits: Bárbara Diogo


One Health Talks

To face the challenge of discussing One Health em menos de 60 minutos, continuamos o 1º ciclo de conversas mensais do ICBAS no próximo dia 23 de maio. 

Na oitava sessão (e última deste ciclo), Isabel Lourinho, Psicóloga Especialista Clínica e da Saúde, Coordenadora do Gabinete de Apoio ao Estudante Empregabilidade e Alumni do ICBAS e Psicóloga Clínica no Icuf, convida Ana Neiva, arquiteta, investigadora, curadora e Professora auxiliar convidada na FAUP e na FCAATI da U. Lusófona, para discutirem o tema ‘ Corpo, Mente e Arquitetura: Ambientes como promotores de Bem-Estar ‘.

O evento decorrerá das 13h às 13.50h na Biblioteca do ICBAS/FFUP, sala 2.

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