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18 December 2018

Dear colleagues,

Please find below the latest edition of ESCMID Weekly News.

With kind regards,

ESCMID Executive Office.


ECCMID 2019 Keynote speaker announcement

Prof. Jean-Michel Pawlotsky has been announced as a keynote speaker for ECCMID 2019 in Amsterdam. The title of his lecture is “Hepatitis B therapy pipeline: how far are we from cure?”. There are approximately 250 million people infected with hepatitis B virus worldwide, the vast majority of them being unaware of the infection. Current therapies reduce HBV DNA to low/undetectable levels, thereby preventing the long-term complications of the infection. However, very few patients achieve a sustained response. A very large number of HBV drugs are at the preclinical and clinical developmental stage, including antiviral drugs targeting the HBV lifecycle and intracellular forms of viral persistence, as well as immune therapies. This lecture will summarize what has been achieved in HBV therapy, what still needs to be done and the many therapeutic approaches currently evaluated in the very active field of HBV drug development.

Prof. Pawlotsky is Director of the French National Reference Center for Viral Hepatitis B, C and D, Director of the Department of Virology at the Henri Mondor University Hospital in Créteil, and Director of the research team “Viruses-Hepatology-Cancers“ at the Mondor Institute of Biomedical Research (INSERM U955).

Follow the link below to read the ECCMID Preliminary Programme.

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Registration for ECCMID 2019 - Early Bird fee until
24 January 2019

The abstract review is currently taking place.

We want to take the opportunity to thank all abstract submitters, members of the programme committee and reviewers for their commitment to the congress, and we are looking forward to seeing you in Amsterdam from 13 – 16 April.

To benefit from the early-bird registration deadline, please register before 24 January 2019. Make sure you use our official website to book your hotels to get the best rates.

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ESCMID Observers visit WHO in Copenhagen

Last week, from 10th to 11th December we had 10 ESCMID members visiting the WHO Regional Office in Copenhagen/Denmark within the framework of the ESCMID funded observership programme. This special funded observership to visit the WHO is available once per year exclusively to ESCMID young scientist members. You can read more about the ESCMID observership programme at WHO and the application process at the following link.

The next call for funded Observerships for visiting other ECC’s will be announced in Spring 2019 via our ESCMID newsletter and social media channels. In case of questions about any of the observership programmes, please contact: observership@escmid.org 

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European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) Survey of healthcare workers knowledge and attitudes about antibiotics and antibiotic resistance

In January 2019 ECDC will be cascading the link to an ECDC-funded survey to assess healthcare workers knowledge and attitudes about antibiotics and antibiotic resistance. The aim is to have a robust return of 10,000+ responses across the EU/EEA member states with representation from healthcare workers (doctors, nurses and midwives, dentists, pharmacists, other healthcare workers such as hospital managers, allied health professionals, and technicians). They are also seeking responses from health students.

The overall objectives of the study for ECDC are:

-To fill in gaps in terms of evaluation of communication campaigns targeting healthcare workers, and
-To gain a better understanding of their knowledge and perceptions to provide a base to support future needs in terms of policy and education changes.
Please put this in your planning calendar so that once you receive this survey link you are able to kindly disseminate.

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ESCMID Parity Commission: 2019 call for new members is now open!

ESCMID is happy to announce an open call for two positions on the ESCMID Parity Commission. The officer’s term is envisaged for 3 years (2019-2021) with the possibility of a two-year extension. The new members will be collaborating with other members of the Parity Commission under the guidance of the ESCMID president–elect and secretary general. ECCMID registration, accommodation and travel costs, as well as cost incurred for any other Parity Commission meeting will be reimbursed by ESCMID. Eligible for the position are any ESCMID members who are passionate about issues regarding parity and equity in the CM/ID professional area. Applicants with a record of active engagement in such subjects will be preferred. Please visit the ESCMID Parity Commission webpage to see the call document and to have an overview of the activities of the ESCMID Parity Commission.

The deadline for sending applications is 31 January 2019

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CMI highlight: prognosis of life-threatening conditions in patients with chronic Q fever

Because it can cause life-threatening conditions (endocarditis, infected vascular prostheses and infected arterial aneurysms), van Roeden and coworkers aimed to assess the prognosis of chronic Q fever patients in terms of complications and mortality. They examined a cohort of 439 chronic Q fever patients and found that complications occurred in 166/439 (38%) patients. Of those, chronic Q fever was proven in 61% (153/249), probable in 15% (11/74) and possible in 2% (2/116). The most complications included: acute aneurysms (14%), heart failure (13%) and non-cardiac abscesses (10%). Overall mortality was 38% (94/249) for proven chronic Q fever patients (median follow-up 3.6 years) and 22% (16/74) for probable chronic Q fever patients (median follow-up 4.7 years). The case fatality rate was 25% for proven (63/249) chronic Q fever patients and 4% for probable (3/74) chronic Q fever patients. Overall survival was significantly lower in patients with complications, compared to those without complications (p<0.001). Based on these results, the authors conclude that in chronic Q fever patients, complications occur frequently and contribute to the mortality rate. Patients with proven chronic Q fever have the highest risk of complications and chronic Q fever-related mortality. The prognosis for patients with possible chronic Q fever is favorable in terms of complications and mortality.

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Congratulations to 2019 TAE Award Winner Maria Joćo Lopes!

The 2019 TAE Award Winner will be Maria Joćo Lopes, who will receive her award during the TAE Day session on Saturday, 13 April at ECCMID 2019!

Maria is a 4th-year Infectious Diseases trainee. As a medical student, she volunteered in projects in Cape Verde and Mozambique, which contributed to her interest in Global Health. Apart from general ID training in Portugal, she obtained the East African Diploma in Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, a 3-months hands-on course based in Tanzania and Uganda, from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. In 2018, she completed an MSc in Tropical Medicine and International Health at the same institution and developed her thesis in the Neglected Tropical Diseases field in Guinea-Bissau. In collaboration with the Portuguese Medical Association, she was a reviewer for the assessment of the ID department’s suitability for medical specialty training. She was also involved in peer-education during their rotations in the ID department and participated as a lecturer in courses for trainees. Presently, she is committed to acquiring further competencies in Antimicrobial Stewardship.

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The ESCMID Newsletter is issued on behalf of the European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (ESCMID) by the ESCMID Executive Office. It contains announcements of ESCMID-related matters and other information of interest to professionals in the infection field.

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