Paul G. Auwaerter, MD


September 20, 2013

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Hello. This is Paul Auwaerter from the Johns Hopkins Division of Infectious Diseases, for Medscape Infectious Diseases. ID Week is coming the first week of October. It will be held in San Francisco, and the program has lots of interesting features. This is a personal view of some topics that may be of significant interest at the meeting. For those of you who are going to the meeting, it is a heads-up, and those who are not going may hear about some of these items in the press.

First is the topic of antibiotic resistance, which is bedeviling both patients and physicians not only here in the United States but worldwide. There are a number of important sessions, including a late-breaker session on NDM-1 (New Delhi metalloprotease-1) epidemiology in the United States. It will be presented by Alexander Kallen from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

There will also be a symposium dedicated to discussing emerging multidrug-resistant gram-negative [bacteria] that will be moderated by Trish Perl and Jesus Rodriguez-Bano. In fact, the closing session of ID Week will be dedicated to antimicrobial resistance in general, and not only standard bacterial concerns; antimalarial-resistant sexually transmitted diseases and tuberculosis will be included too.

Emerging infectious diseases is always one of the more popular sessions. This year, there is a symposium that will include headlines about West Nile virus, which had a particularly big impact in 2012 in the United States, as well as a presentation by Lyle Petersen from the CDC. Gary Wormser, who is well known for [his work in] Lyme disease and other tick-borne diseases, will be discussing some of the newer and emerging tick-borne diseases in the United States and elsewhere, including Borrelia miyamotoi and the Heartland virus.

In the vaccine world, Keith Klugman will be presenting a late-breaking abstract on the impact of the conjugate PCV13 vaccine on decreasing both invasive and noninvasive pneumococcal disease in the United States. I think this will be of great interest to many.

In the world of virology, there will be an important presentation on prescribing errors in hospitalized patients who have HIV and are on antiretroviral medications. This is an increasingly important problem that we find in our own hospital at Johns Hopkins, and it should be of particular interest and concern.

Hepatitis C, with new drugs on the launching pad, has a dedicated symposium that will be headed by Eliot Godofsky and David Thomas. They will look at where the issues are now as well as what physicians and patients can look forward to in the near future.

One of the more important topics that many of us are holding our breath about is the Middle East respiratory syndrome virus, or MERS. There is a plenary session on the epidemiology, infection-control issues, and other things that are very important. Hopefully it will not be of great concern here in the United States, but one does not know whether it will track like SARS or other viruses. There will be a presentation by Ziad Memish, the Assistant Deputy Minister of Health for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, so that should be a very interesting session.

One of the last issues that I think is of great interest is fecal microbiome and microbiota transplantation, especially for Clostridium difficile infections. Johan Bakken will be moderating the session dedicated to these concepts. Unfortunately, the US Food and Drug Administration has recently suggested that fecal transplantation is still experimental and requires an investigational new drug approval each time it is administered, so there are many controversial issues.

It should be a great meeting with lots of interesting topics, posters, and presentations, and hopefully you can go. If not, stay tuned and we will have some updates from Medscape after the meeting. Thank you.


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