The congress allows the latest scientific knowledge and experience in the field to be shared in one place, in the form of lectures, symposia, educational workshops and other various meetings. Regular participants could not wait for this year’s event, whic h is taking place for the 32nd time. Thanks to the covid epidemic, the congress was cancelled in 2020 and the 2021 event was held only online. For this year’s event, the organizing committee chose a tourist-attractive Lisbon, and so in the last week of April, the westernmost European capital was transformed into an international forum for presentations and discussions on research in the field of clinical microbiology. The congress took place in the Altice arena and Feira Internacional de Lisboa exhibition grounds, which were originally built in 1998 for the EXPO’98 world exhibition.
The rich scientific and educational program included various variants and types of meetings, from main lectures, interviews with lecturers, scientific symposia, meetings with experts, to educational workshops, open forums or virtual walks through poster sections. The offer was really wide.
The professional part of the congress was complemented by a platform in which innovative companies and research groups had the opportunity to present antimicrobial therapies at an early stage of development, diagnostic products in development or research funding opportunities to a wider audience. Of course, we couldn’t miss such an opportunity and in the section dedicated to the presentation of companies, we presented our innovative portfolio under our unified brand. The sales and product teams of TestLine, DiaSource and BioVendor MDx presented here the best of immunodiagnostics and molecular diagnostics that we can offer to our customers.
We asked the participating colleagues what the most interesting observations from this year’s ECCMID were:
„We were especially interested in the topic of infectious diseases,” says Miroslav Herczeg, CLIA and ELISA product specialist from TestLine. „The most mentioned was, of course, Covid, mainly vaccination data and booster dose recommendations, evaluated on the basis of antibody levels. There has been a lot of discussion about the lack of a set protective limit for antibodies,” explains Miroslav and adds his view of the professional program: „We also had the opportunity to see interesting lectures focused on the microbiome, herpes viruses and tick infections. From the point of view of herpes viruses, interest shifts to their presence in the nervous system and related effects, which also reflects our current efforts to implement the detection of antibodies in intrathecal fluid. Another interesting thing in relation to our infectious serology products has been that tick diseases are clearly on the rise worldwide. Even in countries with a low incidence of this pathogen, such as France and Britain, there has been a multiple increase.”
Lenka Linková, Head of Sales of Microbiology and Molecular Biology for BioVendor LM, evaluated the course of the congress from a slightly different angle. She went to Lisbon after a two-year break to meet her business partners in person: „The atmosphere at the fair was great, although I noticed a slightly smaller number of visitors compared to previous years. The biggest shift was seen in the offer of companies – most were understandably focused on the PCR method.” Her words are confirmed by Ismail Nakach, CLIA Business Developer Manager from DiaSource: „Yes, by far the greatest attention has been paid to devices and tests based on the PCR technology. However, there is also a real interest in other methods which PCR cannot replace, such as the second generation of CLIA systems.”
The importance of face-to-face meetings probably doesn’t need to be discussed. „Despite the possibility of participating online, this ECCMID has confirmed that live events and meetings cannot be replaced,” confirms Michal Šteffl, Head of Sales at TestLine. “Attendance was a bit lower, but we managed to have some great-quality meetings that wouldn’t be so effective in the online space. ECCMID maintained a high level even after the "covid" break,” summarizes his impressions Michal.
And what to say at the end? Perhaps that the next 33rd ECCMID will take place April 15-18, 2023 in Copenhagen. So: Vi ses i København!