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SA researcher recognised by international laboratory sciences body

Jennifer Pienaar of the University of Johannesburg's Health Sciences Faculty has been recognised for research excellence by the International Federation of Biomedical Laboratory Sciences, at their 33rd World Congress in Italy.

The International Federation of Biomedical Laboratory Science (IFBLS) is an independent non-governmental association of national societies in 35 countries, representing more than 185 000 biomedical laboratory scientists and technologists worldwide.

Jennifer is a lecturer in the Department of Biomedical Technology and a committee member of the Society of Medical Laboratory Technologists of South Africa.

She presented a research paper on Microbiome entitled: Survival and Recovery of Non Acid-Adapted Commensal and Enterotoxigenic E.Coli in a Simulated Gastric Environment.

During her presentation, Pienaar argued that Gastric fluid pH serves an important function as an ecological filter that may kill microbial taxa that would otherwise colonise the intestines, thereby shaping the diversity and composition of microbial communities found in the gut.

"With decreased gastric acidity, there is a higher probability of pathogen colonisation and a resulting change in the gut microbiome," she said.

"The conclusion of the results foresee the potential increase of food- and waterborne diseases in individuals with compromised gastric function, or who are malnourished or immune compromised. The data herein may possibly help in establishing more precisely the risk associated with consuming bacterial contaminated foods and water in these individuals," explained Pienaar.

Source: University of Johannesburg

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