Conference Coverage

IDWeek 2017 opens in San Diego


IDWeek 2017 kicks off Oct. 3 at the San Diego Convention Center, with a focus on pandemic preparedness and other challenges facing infectious diseases clinicians and researchers in the 21st century.

Premeeting workshops and symposia occupy most of the first 2 days of the event, with highlights including a session on managing infections in opioid users and a “late breaker” symposium addressing the latest on the H7N9 outbreak in China, the current findings and recommendations regarding Candida auris, and the epidemiology of the recent Legionella outbreaks in the United States. Another late breaker session focuses on the recent spate of hepatitis A outbreaks, including one in conference host city San Diego, primarily among the homeless population.

IDWeek is the combined annual meeting of the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA), the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA), the HIV Medicine Association (HIVMA), and the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society (PIDS). The first IDWeek was held in 2012.

Dr. Janet Englund of Seattle Children's Hospital

Dr. Janet Englund

The IDWeek symposia, oral abstract sessions, and poster abstract sessions are the highlights, but the interactive “pro/con” debate sessions should be entertaining and informative. Topics include “Should Your ASP Include the ICU?” and “Is SAAR Ready for Primetime?” Another interactive session – “Diagnostic Clinical Cases” – brings a panel of ID experts together to identify the etiology of challenging clinical cases and to describe diagnostic testing strategies for such cases. Other “pro/con” debates will include a discussion on mandating an annual influenza vaccine for health care workers in acute care settings, and an assessment of the risks and benefits of active surveillance, compared with immediate surgery for persons with a spinal epidural abscess.

One intriguing interactive session – aptly-titled “Nightmare Bugs” – will investigate the problems posed by multidrug-resistant organisms and the need for new antimicrobials to defeat them.

There are many sessions and posters addressing evergreen clinical topics for ID clinicians, such as antimicrobial resistance, antibiotic stewardship, surgical site infections, bacteremia and sepsis, Clostridium difficile, hepatitis care, and HIV care. But the education committee at IDWeek always manages to touch on topics in the news. For instance, one late breaker session will feature a discussion of the nexus between the opioid crisis and infectious diseases, the outbreak of cholera in Yemen, and the epidemiology of the yellow fever outbreak in Brazil.

Featured speakers at the event include James M. Hughes, MD, professor of medicine at Emory University, Atlanta, who will discuss the importance of a One Health approach to emerging microbial threats, and Connie Celum, MD, MPH, professor of global health and medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, who intends to describe the progress in effective HIV prevention interventions and lessons learned in implementation. Neil O. Fishman, MD, of the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, is delivering the annual SHEA lecture at IDWeek, and will explain how ID physicians and epidemiologists can promote interventions to achieve high reliability in health care. Renowned ID researcher Janet Englund, MD, of Seattle Children’s Hospital, will discuss the potential future therapies to prevent or treat respiratory viral infections in high-risk pediatric patients.

The 2017 conference will close with a three-part plenary – “21st Century Cures” – featuring ID luminaries Christopher Karp, MD, of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, James E. Crowe Jr., MD, of Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tenn., and David Thomas, MD, MPH, of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.

On Twitter @richpizzi

Next Article: