Not waltz, not even Strauss – the highlights of the 27th European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases in Vienna.

Piotr Kochan

Besides cancer, obesity, cardiac and psychiatric ailments as well as some rare genetic conditions, infectious diseases are some of the most important problems that modern medicine has to overcome. Sexually transmitted infections alone amount to one million new infections each day, as per WHO data [1]. Sure candidates for the Nobel Prize will be persons who find cures for AIDS, HBV, HSV, HPV and effective malaria vaccine. The year has passed swiftly since my previous editorial on the spectacular ECCMID last year, so this year’s 27th European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, that took place in Vienna, seemed a mandatory event for me to attend. Vienna was also a host city for ECCMID in 2010, a date hard to forget, since the Polish presidential plane crashed in Smolensk, killing everyone onboard, exactly as the congress began.


Figure 1. ECCMID 2017 conference venue in Vienna.
[please click on the image to enlarge]

This year, the biggest conference of its kind in Europe broke another record when it comes to the number of attendees, presented lectures and posters. The exhibition hall looked more like a setup of a blockbuster science-fiction flick, all plastic and glass with sophisticated technology – usually much automated and so much less human dependent for infectious disease diagnostics. Some thoughts came to my mind – Where will medicine be in a few hundred years? Can we imagine a disease-free world? Will it be like the fix-all medical bay capsules you see in Hollywood movies?

As the Editor-in-Chief of WJOMI, I had the pleasure of participating in a press conference held at the start of the congress, chaired by the head figures of the European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases [2]. The current (Prof. Mario Poljak), the past (Prof. Murat Akova) and the President-Elect (Prof. Jesús Rodríguez-Baño) of the Society, who joined later on, were present, as was ECCMID Programme Director, Prof. Winfried Kern. During the press conference, all participants had the pleasure to listen to some highlights of the upcoming ECCMID as well as to listen to some selected topic short presentations by renowned specialists. At the end, the audience had a lot of questions, which proved a challenge, but all were answered to everyone’s satisfaction. The press meeting could easily continue for another hour, but the busy presidential board had to move on to next meetings, so it was adjourned.

I was very much impressed not only by the quality of this year’s topics presented but also by the growing Networking Corner, where we also contributed a poster about ESCMID Collaborative Centre no. 101, which for the last several years I coordinate in Cracow. ESCMID Observership centre no. 101 is still the only one in Poland. A glimpse of the poster may be seen in Figure 2.


Figure 2. Networking corner with respective ESCMID Collaborative Centres’ posters (Polish centre no.101 is the 1st from the right).
[please click on the image to enlarge]

The hot topics in Vienna again included microbial resistance as well as migrant health. To cite some of the interesting keynote lectures, below is a list of titles from the programme of this year’s ECCMID:
  1. ”Contemplating an end to the HIV epidemic – what is left to be done?” by the Nobel Prize laureate Françoise Barré-Sinoussi (KN056, Sunday, 23 April 2017).
  2. “Malaria elimination” by Nicholas White (KN057, Sunday, 23 April 2017).
  3. “Excellence Award Lecture: Sepsis: making progress, but not yet there!” by Thierry Calandra (KN079, Sunday, 23 April 2017).
  4. “The role of intestinal microbiota to combat antimicrobial-resistant bacteria” by Eric G. Pamer (KN080, Sunday, 23 April 2017).
  5. “Recent revolution in diagnostic bacteriology” by Gilbert Greub (KN114, Monday, 24 April 2017).
  6. “Emerging brain infections – how to approach them from a global perspective” by Tom Solomon (KN115, Monday, 24 April 2017).
  7. “Our second genome in health and disease” by Cisca Wijmenga (KN116, Monday, 24 April 2017).
  8. “Antibiotic stewardship around the globe” by Dilip Nathwani (KN138, Monday, 24 April 2017).
  9. “The power of ONE: immunology in the age of single-cell genomics” by Ido Amit (KN139, Monday, 24 April 2017).
  10. “Within-host evolution of bacterial pathogens and implications for transmission analysis” by Xavier Didelot (KN140, Monday, 24 April 2017).
  11. “Life and death of bacterial persisters” by Sophie Helaine (KN176, Tuesday, 25 April 2017).
  12. “The hepatitis B virus receptor” by Wenhui Li (KN177, Tuesday, 25 April 2017).

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Also, a comprehensive media programme was prepared, with the press releases following from the ECCMID2017 Press Office, which included the following:
  • Calculating the cost of Clostridium difficile infection for health services and patients.
  • Is Clostridium difficile spreading via the food chain? New Europe-wide study reveals answers.
  • As part of efforts to tackle the problem of bacteria developing resistance to antimicrobial drugs, researchers presented the latest research on treating bloodstream infections with fewer side effects and without the need to use antimicrobials of “last resort”.
  • How drug-resistant bacteria in the bladder or bowel can lead to a dangerous form of sepsis.
  • How to detect which kidney transplants are failing and why? A urine test could reveal the answers.
  • Do acute hospitals or long-term care facilities have the greater burden of elderly people with healthcare-associated bacterial infections?
Please read more about the congress and see more materials on ECCMID website [3]. This year, instead of describing my impressions, I would like to invite the readers to relive the experience by watching a series of 8 films recorded during the press conference (Figure 3). Exactly as last year, I have posed a question to President-Elect, Prof. Jesús Rodríguez-Baño, about the future of the Society.

Figure 3. Still shot from one of the eight films recorded during the ECCMID 2017 Press Conference. To see the films, please use the official WJOMI YouTube channel [4]: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLh4EmdB2hkU51QCcxjsYMA_z_6OWdhyXU

Please mind the latest technical development! We are slowly but surely migrating to a new website domain which has become available to us. In the autumn of this year, instead of the long domain address: journalofmedicalimages.com, which many readers found bothersome and difficult to remember, we will be making full usage of the website domain: wjomi.com. The domain name is already functional. This makes submission of any materials, letters and questions much easier as the new e-mail address changes to: editors@wjomi.com

If you have any questions directly to the Editor-in-Chief of WJOMI, or you would like to suggest an invited article, please send your message to: editor@wjomi.com


[1] World Health Organization (WHO). Sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Fact sheet updated August 2016. Access valid on May 30, 2017: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs110/en/
[2] European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (ESCMID). Access valid on May 30, 2017: https://www.escmid.org/
[3] European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (ECCMID). Access valid on May 30, 2017: http://www.eccmid.org/
[4] Official WJOMI YouTube Channel. Access valid on May 31, 2017: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCv78AAmi2wvjdg1HVHwIXog

Acknowledgements: Big word of thanks to Emma Mason and Kerry Noble from the ECCMID2017 Press Office for all the press releases.

To cite this article: Kochan P. Not waltz, not even Strauss – the highlights of the 27th European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases in Vienna. World J Med Images Videos Cases 2017; 3:e31-34.

Published on: 31 May 2017

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