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7 November 2017

Dear colleagues,

The United Kingdom published the English Surveillance Programme for Antimicrobial Utilisation and Resistance (ESPAUR) report on antimicrobial utilization and resistance for 2017.

Best regards, your ESCMID communications editors


The preliminary programme for ECCMID 2018 is now online!

The preliminary scientific programme for ECCMID from 21 – 24 April 2018 in Madrid, Spain, is online now. The keynote lectures include for example a talk by Nobel Prize winner Rolf Zinkernagel about immunology taught by viruses. In the symposia, you will find pro-con debates about the use of corticosteroids to treat community-acquired pneumonia and the value of standard susceptibility testing for biofilms as well as the popular year-in sessions.

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ESGMD study group publishes paper on WGS use in diagnostics

The ESCMID Study Group for Genomics and Molecular Diagnostics (ESGMD) reviewed the practical aspects of implementing bacterial whole genome sequencing (WGS) in routine diagnostic laboratories. They discuss when and how to integrate WGS in the routine workflow.

As microbiology laboratories have to adhere to various national and international regulations and criteria, the authors also deliberate on quality control issues for using WGS in microbiology, including the importance of proficiency testing. Furthermore, the current and future place of this technology in the diagnostic hierarchy of microbiology is described as well as the necessity of maintaining backwards compatibility with already established methods. Finally, the authors speculate on the question whether WGS can entirely replace routine microbiology in the future and the tension between the fact that most sequencers are designed to process multiple samples in parallel whereas for optimal diagnosis a one-by-one processing of the samples is preferred. Special reference is made to the cost and turnaround time of WGS in diagnostic laboratories.

The ESGMD experts conclude that further development is required to improve the workflow for WGS, particularly to shorten the turnaround time, reduce costs and streamline downstream data analyses. Only when these processes reach maturity, reliance on WGS for routine patient management and infection control management will become feasible, enabling the transformation of clinical microbiology into a genome-based and personalised diagnostic field.

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New TAE committee members Aleksandra Barac and Muge Cevik

Trainee Association of ESCMID (TAE) welcomes two new members onto its Steering Committee. The new members on the TAE steering committee are Aleksandra Barac (left) from Belgrade, Serbia, and Muge Cevik (right) from Edinburgh, UK. We look forward to officially welcoming them to their new roles at the next TAE Steering Committee meeting later this month. Welcome on board!

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CMI highlight: biofilm not linked to poor outcome in S. aureus bacteraemia

The Staphylococcus aureus biofilm may constitute a major cause of virulence. Researchers analyzed if biofilm production can be associated with poor outcome in patients with S. aureus bacteraemia. Outcome was poor in 199/485 (41.0%) of the S. aureus bacteraemia episodes. The distribution of poor outcome with respect to biomass production (BP) and metabolic activity (MA) was as follows: low BP, 36.6% vs. high BP, 43.2% (p=0.26); and low MA, 43.5% vs. high MA, 36.2% (p=0.91). The presence of methicillin-resistant S. aureus was the only characteristic that was more likely to be present in the high MA group (17.4% vs. 39.3%, p < 0.001). They concluded that biofilm production, as determined by any of the methods used in the study, is not associated with poor outcome in patients with S. aureus bacteraemia.

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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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