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Trends in infectious disease and clinical microbiology

ECCMID
8 February, 2016  

The annual meeting of the European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases will this year take place from April 9–12 in Amsterdam. At the world’s largest congress focused on infection control and clinical microbiology researchers will present more than 3000 abstracts with the latest findings and recommendations, which are set to help improve diagnosis, prevention and the clinical care given to patients. Discussions on this vibrant platform not only raise awareness of emerging healthcare challenges; they also help translate the research findings into diagnostic tools, guidelines, best practices, and international policies.

The global clinical microbiology and infectious disease community meets every year at ECCMID to present the latest research results, discuss findings and offer solutions to the most pressing infection problems. The congress offers more than 150 presentations, including keynote lectures, symposia, oral sessions, educational workshops and meet-the-experts session as well as more than 2000 poster presentations.

The main topics are strategies to tackle antimicrobial resistance in various settings, approaches for prevention involving vaccines and infection control as well as descriptions of novel diagnostic technologies. The most popular sessions include scientific symposia lectures by winners of the ESCMID Award for Excellence as well as the Young Investigator Award as well as oral presentations on ground-breaking research approaches and findings and late-breaking abstracts.

The keynote speeches include presentations of innovative approaches to vaccines, the microbiome or tuberculosis therapies, and lectures on how non-human antibiotics affect public health or an economic perspective on antimicrobial resistance.

Prof Winfried Kern, ECCMID programme director: “We have renowned keynote speakers discussing recent aspects of tuberculosis, of neglected parasitic diseases, affordable healthcare or antimicrobial resistance and its economic impact. We also offer a number of educational sessions explaining various aspects of diagnosing preventing, and treating infectious diseases.

This year the ECCMID Programme Committee has also decided offer two special tracks for the late-breaking abstract sessions focused on two topics requiring a coordinated response from infection specialists across all disciplines. The submission deadline for these special abstracts is 1 March.

The first topic is refugee health. The thousands of people who are currently migrating from the Middle East challenge the public health systems in transition and host countries. Clinicians and public health specialists need to develop strategies for screening, prevention and treatment of infectious diseases that were largely eradicated in Europe are now gradually being reintroduced.

The second focus of the late-breaking abstracts is on emerging colistin resistance. Reports about the emergence of resistance to this last-resort antibiotic have reached us from China, Canada, the UK and most countries in continental Europe. “With these recent reports it has become evident that this resistance can spread easily between different types of bacteria,” ESCMID President Prof Murat Akova commented. “This is very alarming and the world needs to wake up and take note.

In terms of viral infections, experts at the congress will evaluate HIV and hepatitis C treatments in several sessions, and will present results on emerging infections including those caused by the Zika virus.

Prof Joop Arends, member of the ECCMID Programme Committee and chairperson of the ESCMID Study Group for Viral Hepatitis: “At ECCMID 2016 we will be a large number of viral sessions. I think for me the most exciting are the ones concerning HIV, hepatitis and also other viral infections, such as influenza and other infectious diseases.

Organisers expect more than 10,000 attendees from a range of specialties including clinical microbiology, infection control, clinical infectious diseases, and public health to attend the congress over the four days. Coming from more than 100 countries around the world they will come to the congress to learn about the most recent results, to exchange ideas and to learn about how to apply the findings in a clinical, laboratory or public health setting.

In addition the event will provide oral presentations as well as mini oral e-post presentations, and a large number of printed posters. There will also be e-post viewing stations, where visitors can scroll through abstracts presented as papers.

This year’s Clinical Grand Rounds, chaired by international experts, will feature several multifaceted cases, and in meet-the-expert sessions young professionals have the opportunity to discuss their ideas and projects with renowned experts during round table discussions.