A research paper entitled ‘Mode of Mechanical Transmission of Disease by Common Housefly Vectors in Antigua’ has earned the two top prizes for best presentation and best poster at Research Day held at the American University of Antigua (AUA) West Campus on Saturday.

The paper represented one of nine bodies of work by 3rd-semester medical students as part of their microbiology course. The students conducted their research under the guidance of Dr. Olusegun Dipelou, Professor of Microbiology and Director of the Centre for Tropical Diseases and International Travel at AUA.

Research Day provides a platform for students to showcase their research and presentation skills to an audience of Faculty members, international research experts, members of the local medical community and their peers. Students have an opportunity to have their work critiqued by experts in the field of research while having the added benefit of learning firsthand about current research work being undertaken by the experts.

International guest speakers included Professor Raj Warrier, Vice Chancellor of Manipal University, AUA’s sister University in India, Dr. Xia Jin of the Infectious Diseases Unit at the University of Rochester College of Medicine and Antigua & Barbuda’s own, Dr. Ken Nedd who delivered a talk on ‘Happiness-the Antidote to Stress’.

The winning paper and poster presentation, ‘Mode of Transmission of Disease by Common Housefly Vectors in Antigua’ was presented by Rajiv Narvula, John Nwankwo, JagrutPatel, Kiran Patel, Sakson Rouypirom, Jean-Maurice Salcedo, Abiola Samuel, Sonia Singh, Vishal Thakore, Aaron Wilson and Benjamin Wood. For their efforts the students each received a blood pressure kit from Dr. Peter Bell, AUA’s VP of Academic Affairs & Dean and a group award of EC$500 from the Women’s Clinic, presented by Dr. Dane Abbott.

Second place for best poster was awarded to the project ‘Contamination of Micro-organisms in the Microbiology Laboratory at AUA’ by Samantha Davis, Abrar Khan, Aalok Oza, Hemanjale Sharma, Fadi Sweiss, Octavio Vela, Curt Waldron and Rashi Sharma. An award of US$500 from the Antigua Optical Company Ltd was presented to the group by Dr. Arlene Sorhaindo.

Other research topics included: ‘The importance of Cellular Telephones in the Transmission of Bacterial Diseases in Antigua,’ ‘Bacteria found on AUA Staff, Microbial Contamination of Drinking Water at AUA,’ ‘The Presence of Bacteria in some Strategic Areas of AUA,’ ‘The Importance of Bacteria Isolated from Locally Preserved Food in Antigua,’ ‘Evaluation of Bacteria in the Food Supplied by Vendors at AUA’s West Campus,’ and the ‘Five Second Rule.’