ESCMID weekly news 05.05.2020

5 May 2020: ESCMID Weekly News
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5 May 2020

Dear colleagues,

Please find below the latest edition of ESCMID Weekly News.

With kind regards,
ESCMID Executive Office.


Upcoming ESCMID Webinar on COVID-19 and Diagnostics

The next ESCMID Webinar on COVID-19 is coming up this Thursday, 7 May, from 18:00 – 20:00 CEST.

Follow ESCMID on Twitter or Facebook to stay up to date with the announcement of these webinars, including these other upcoming dates:

⦁ COVID-19 – The worldwide situation:
   Tuesday, 12 May 2020, 18:00-20:00 CEST

⦁ COVID-19 case presentations:
   Thursday, 14 May 2020, 18:00-20:00 CEST

⦁ COVID-19 and Public Health:
   Thursday, 21 May 2020, 18:00-20:00 CEST

You can watch a replay of the first three webinars on the ESCMID E-Academy.

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ECCMID 2020 Abstract Book

Whilst the 30th ECCMID in Paris unfortunately did not go ahead, we are very proud to publish the scientific abstracts that would have been presented there.

You can view the Abstract Book on the ESCMID Website.

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New ESCMID Executive Committee members

Following the closing of the ballot of the 2020 ESCMID Assembly of Members, the new members of the ESCMID Executive Committee have now assumed their new offices.

We welcome Jon S. Friedland as the new Scientific Affairs Officer, and Robert Leo Skov as the new Education Officer.

View the new composition of the Executive Committee on the ESCMID Website.

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Executive Committee goodbyes and thankyous

With new members incoming, we must say goodbye to some members of the Executive Committee. Mario Poljak is leaving the Executive Committee after 8 years, including a 2 year period as ESCMID President between 2016 and 2018. Evelina Tacconelli will be leaving her position as Guidelines Officer, however will continue as an ad-hoc member as the EUCIC Chairperson.

We thank them both for their years of outstanding services, commitment and contributions to the society. You can read more about the outgoing and incoming Executive Committee members in the new ESCMID yearbook.

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New ECCMID Programme Director

Along with the other changes in the ESCMID Executive, the time has also come for Winfried V. Kern to pass the ad-hoc executive office of ECCMID Programme Director to Jacob Moran-Gilad.

We thank Winfried for his many years of leadership, during which time ECCMID grew to be the world’s premier meeting in the fields of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Disease.

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Elections of Study Group Executive Committees open

Elections have been opened or will open soon for the renewal of the Executive Committees of the following study groups: ESGS, EFISG, EPASG, ESGAP, ESGBOR, ESGCIP, ESGCP, ESGFOR, ESGHAMI, ESGIB, ESGITM, ESGLI, ESGPHM, ESGREV, EVASG, ESGARS, ESGMYC, EFWISG, ESGIE, ESGCD, ESGMD (one member).

To participate in the election process, log in to with your ESCMID credentials and click on the “Study Group Elections” icon. For most study groups, elections will close on 11 May 2020; please read carefully information sent from

Only members with a valid ESCMID membership can take part in the election process. To be able to vote, please be sure to renew immediately your ESCMID membership, should it expire in the coming days.

For any question, contact

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CMI highlight: Clinical microbiology laboratory adaptation to COVID-19 emergency: experience at a large teaching hospital in Rome, Italy

When facing the global health emergency of COVID-19, clinical microbiology laboratories worldwide are ideally asked to refine their diagnostic paraphernalia to maximize direct detection of SARS-CoV-2 in patient samples. Accordingly, ever-increasing numbers of SARS-CoV-2 infected people and asymptomatic carriers poses the need to adapt laboratory response capacity to this unprecedented situation. Posteraro et al. describe a real-life experience at the Fondazione Policlinico Universitario A. Gemelli IRCCS, a large teaching hospital in Rome, which underwent a progressive adaptation of the clinical microbiology laboratory to the rapidly evolving COVID-19 emergency in the Lazio region, during March 2020.

They identified three decisive interventions that contributed to optimizing the COVID-19 diagnostic laboratory workflow, and assessed the turnaround time (TAT) values for positive or negative results as key efficiency’s indicators. The first intervention to reduce TAT was to extend the working to night hours. The subsequent interventions consisted into passing to low- then high-throughput automated systems for viral RNA extraction and PCR assay setup. The authors support the concept that the clinical microbiology laboratory may be extraordinarily responsive to emergencies like the one we are experiencing, and provide a concrete example on how to expand the laboratory response capacity.

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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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