Respiratory infections

Respiratory infections have long been an important aspect of the respiratory field. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted this more than ever, by emphasising the urgent need for public health preparedness for infectious disease outbreaks and the importance of continued research into prevention, detection and treatment of respiratory infections.

The virtual Congress programme will feature a day of sessions that are dedicated to COVID-19, and it will also include a respiratory infections track that covers the wide spectrum of infectious diseases which are relevant to pulmonary medicine and science.

To view all sessions included in this specialist track, you need to access the online programme, click on 'Advanced' and select ‘Respiratory infections’ from the ‘Diseases’ options. The programme can also be used to search for keywords, speakers and dates and to build your customised Congress agenda.

Hear from the ERS Respiratory Infections Assembly

We spoke to ERS officers who specialise in respiratory infections to find out what you can expect from the virtual Congress and which programme highlights you should not miss. See what they told us:

Professor Graham Bothamley, ERS Respiratory Infections Assembly Head

Q: What can professionals specialising in respiratory infections expect to gain from taking part in this year's Congress?

A: There will be a whole day on COVID-19 (Sunday 6 September), which will summarise the current position of management.

There are a number of clinical sessions and case discussions covering the whole area of respiratory infections. These will address unexpected problems when presented with a patient with a respiratory infection that hasn’t responded to standard treatment within 24-48 hours.

There are sessions on bronchiectasis and on respiratory infections in intensive care. Specialists with an interest in cystic fibrosis will have several sessions to update their knowledge. Topics such as the problems of inhaled steroids in COPD will be covered with updates from randomised controlled trials.

For tuberculosis, there will be an update on whole genome sequencing in the State-of-the-art session, as well as a dedicated session on WHO Global Health Emergencies including the progress made since the April 1993 declaration for tuberculosis with reference to mathematical modelling, diagnostic tests, vaccines and new treatments.

Q: Is there a particular session in the respiratory infections track that should not be missed?

A: The State-of-the-art session (Wednesday 9 September at 14:30 –15:30 CEST) covers pneumonia, the lung microbiome, whole genome sequencing in TB and an update of the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator not just in CF but how variations contribute to other respiratory disease.

The ERS/ESCMID symposium on antibiotic resistance (Monday 7 September at 10:40–11:40 CEST) will give new approaches to manage this seemingly intractable problem.

Dr Eva Polverino, ERS Respiratory Infections Assembly Secretary

Q: What in your opinion will be the popular topics in the respiratory infection field during this year's Congress, and what will be particular highlight for you?

A: COVID infection and immune response to respiratory infections. Individual immune response leads to different manifestations of respiratory infections. It is crucial to identify prognostic factors of individual immune response to different infections to guide clinical management.

Dr Cristina Calarasu, ERS Respiratory Infections Assembly early career representative

Q: As an early-career professional with a focus on respiratory infections, why is the upcoming Congress valuable to career development?

A: Respiratory infections can change our lives. We have seen that this year. This is why we have to continue to prepare and learn new scientific facts about infections that can harm us one day. Some of the important virtual sessions in respiratory infections not to be missed this year are Lung microbiome, Antibiotic resistance, New developments in pandemic medicine, and Digital health. Also, if you want to know more about how to become actively involved in ERS activities and what are the opportunities for career development, early career members have prepared some useful materials, so search for the ECM booth in the World Village when you join the virtual Congress this year.

Learn more about the ERS Respiratory Infections Assembly

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