The Second Congress of Virology (Days of Virology in Bulgaria) aspire to be the most significant in terms of scope and participation forum on virology held so far in this country, covering all its areas – general, medical, veterinary and plant virology. This will be virology’s second independent scientific forum in Bulgaria and can justly be compared in its importance to a virology congress.
Today, at the beginning of XXI century, virology continues to be a vanguard science with a substantial contribution to the achievements of the biological, medical and agrarian sciences. Being closely connected to molecular and cellular biology and molecular genetics, it has played a major role in the development of fundamental biology and has provided the conditions for the accumulation and synthesis of knowledge in all their aspects. At present virology has far reaching projections in genomics and proteomics. But the greatest goal of virology is the struggle with viral diseases in humans, domestic animals and cultured plants. Statistics shows that over 90% of human infectious diseases have viral etiology. Viruses are obviously among the main enemies of humans.
Two scientific areas have made so far quite successful achievements in this direction:
The first includes the development of methods for diagnostics of viral infections; a continual string of discoveries closely linked to progress in a number of other scientific areas and the introduction of technological innovations, aimed at the precise and rapid identification of viral agents and the changes in the organism caused by them; electronic microscopy, cell cultures, immunobiological methods – hybridoma technique, ELISA, immunoblotting, biochemical, biophysical and molecular biological methods incl. PCR etc.
The second area covers the development of prophylactic means and therapy of viral diseases in humans and animals; antiviral vaccines, chemotherapeutic agents and other antiviral substances of biological response modifiers type. The struggle with viral diseases in plants is waged with prophylactic measures: production of virus-free propagative material and introduction of viral pathogen resistant cultivars.
Regardless of the considerable achievements in the above two areas we should mention here some negative tendencies that aggravate the battle with viruses: a. continuous emergence of new viral pathogens (the viruses causing AIDS, SARS, avian flu, toroviruses etc. over the past 20 years) and the identification of viral etiology in some “classic” diseases as diabetes, cancer of the cervix, the larynx and the urinary tract, myocarditides and others. A viral participation in the pathogenesis of autoimmune diseases and in atherosclerosis has been discovered; b. a growing share of nosocomial infections with a viral etiology (over 35 %). The main problems in the struggle with viral diseases in cultured plants come from emerging viral infections as well as from the unusual population dynamics and recombinations in viral pathogens. These problems determine to a great extent the contents of research in virology at the present stage.
Despite the financial difficulties in the last years virologists in Bulgaria succeed to contribute to the development of science (most of there works are published in prestigious international scientific journals) and to application of modern diagnostics and hence appropriate treatment and prophylaxis of viral diseases.
The time is ripe to summon the Second Days of Virology in Bulgaria (Second Congress of Virology) in order to present our achievements to attract the attention of the scientific publicity in this country, and especially young people and colleagues foreign scientist to get acquainted with the fruits of our research.
On behalf of the Organizing Committee, you are cordially invited to participate in the Second Congress of Virology (Days of Virology in Bulgaria) with International Participation which will be held at the Military Medical Academyl, 3 G. Sofiisky str., 1606, Sofia, Bulgaria, on May 28-21, 2008.
President of the Organizing Committee of the Second Congress of Virology: