IPB University Esteemed Professor: Indonesia Have to be Able to Potential New Viruses

Viruses that cause diseases are viruses that infect and reproduce inside human cells. The emergence of new and old viruses has become a serious problem in public health.

The South-East Asian region, including Indonesia, is very vulnerable to infectious diseases caused by viruses. “Indonesia is recorded as the country with the highest amount of deaths caused by the influenza A/H5N1 (Bird Flu) viral infection. Old and new diseases that emerge is becoming more of a problem and threaten the people’s health all over the world. History has shown that the emergence of new viruses has become more frequent. In 1918, the Spanish flu appeared and is responsible for the loss of millions of lives. Afterwards, new viruses continue to appear with smaller intervals between the viruses. When the Ebola virus haven’t been completely taken care of, the Zika virus emerged from South America followed by the emergence of the Corona virus, SARS-CoV-2, in Wuhan, China, causing the current pandemic. This proves how vulnerable the people are to viral infections,” said Prof Dr Ir I Made Artika, MappSc in the press conference Pra Orasi Ilmiah Guru Besar secara daring. (10/9) 

The esteemed IPB University professor, from the Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences (FMIPA) will be honored as permanent esteemed professor of IPB University in the coming scientific oration next Saturday. In his oration, Prof I Made will present his research results titled “Penerapan Teknik Biologi Molekuler dan Prinsip Biosafety dalam Deteksi dan Karakterisasi Virus Penyebab Penyakit pada Manusia”.

“When and where a virus will emerge is almost unpredictable. New viruses that have the potential to cause a global disaster in public health can appear out of nowhere from areas with limited means of detection. The lack of report regarding the circulation of the virus from a certain area does not indicate that the area is free of the virus, but it can also be caused by the lacking means of detection,” he adds.

Therefore, Prof Made hopes that every region of country will develop their own detection and virus characterization capacities. He also further adds that the handling of the virus adds the risk of infection to lab officers, requiring us to adhere to biosafety standards to reduce the risk of viral infections. The development of vaccines and antivirus is also needed to prevent and cure the disease caused by the virus and molecular techniques can be applied to develop vaccines and cures.

“Taking into account that the emergence of new viruses are hard to predict, every region needs to prepare and be ready to take action, including detection, characterizing, and vaccine and medicine development. Indonesia is located in a vulnerable position against the outbreak, meaning we have to give in our extra effort to strategize against this issue through scientific technique breakthroughs in biochemistry and molecular biology,” he further explains. The advancement of molecular biology techniques has revolutionized detection and characterization methods. Especially the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) method and DNA sequencing are both sensitive and specific methods to identify viruses. Both of these techniques have been widely used in detecting and characterizing pathogenic viruses in humans.

“In its core, these two techniques replicate natural settings especially in DNA replication processes involving polymerase and primer DNA enzymes. Molecular biology techniques are relatively general and can be widely used in biochemistry and molecular biology itself involving the analyzing and manipulation of RNA, DNA, proteins and lipids. Currently, almost all fields of biology use analyses in the molecular level. Therefore, biochemistry and molecular biology have important roles in developing and advancing knowledge in agriculture, health, industry and environment,” he closes. (IAAS/RCD)




Published Date : 10-Sep-2020

Resource Person : Prof Dr Ir I Made Artika, MappSc

Keyword : Virus, molecular biology, IPB Esteemed professor