The 27th European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (ECCMID) is over. A four day feast of recent developments in the field of infection has come to an end. Some of the thousands of delegates are already back at work, but many will still be getting to grips with what they learned.
The Micrognome was in action at ECCMID this year:
- Lab Without Walls expedition chasing Australian arboviruses in the Kimberley
- combined MALDI-TOF and PCR approach to identification of bacteraemia
- new genotyping methods for food borne infective agents
That was only a tiny fraction of the programme which on a full ECCMID day started before breakfast and ended well into the evening. You needed plenty of coffee to keep you going. That and a good at-glance ECCMID programme. This year the organisers came up with an ECCMID app, containing the detailed programme, session contents, abstracts, participants and ground plan.
rethinking sepsis: Opal and Calendra
The genetic revolution has only got us so far, but has failed to deliver real improvements in outcome. A shift in thinking is needed. We need to stop thinking about sepsis as a single disease, consider it to be a syndrome and stratify clinical studies according to specific patient groups. The surviving sepsis programme has got momentum going and highlighted the need for better integrated decision-making earlier in the genesis of sepsis.
Genomics can only get us so far in our journey of microbial discovery. The range of new tools now available to investigate the full diversity of microbial life expands our horizons. Better methods of culture for previously non-culturable species and more thorough analysis of easily culturable bacteria with the expanding MALDI-TOF database have already led to an expanding list of bacterial species. We are still only just scraping the surface of accessible microbial species.
Bacterial species hedge their bets on which strategy (e.g. spore formation, motility, energy storage, capsule or biofilm formation) they use as they enter stationary stage. The importance of these adaptive physiological responses is wide ranging. Bet hedging has implications for virulence, antimicrobial resistance, environmental persistence and transmission.
Watch this blog for future updates on these initial impressions and the Micrognomes get to work on extracting meaning from the ECCMID proceedings.
Some more snapshots from ECCMID 2013 and Berlin.