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State of the Society Address

ASM President Timothy J. Donohue will open with the State of the Society Address. Dr. Donohue’s update will cover the ASM Futures Project, ASM Microbe 2016, and the search for ASM’s next CEO.
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Diagnostic Challenges of Arboviruses

The diagnosis of arbovirus infection using clinical signs and symptoms can be difficult since the manifestations cannot be readily differentiated from other infections. This session is dedicated to the current epidemiology, disease characteristics, and diagnostic assays targeting infections with Dengue, Chikungunya, Powassan and Eastern Equine Encephalitis viruses. It provides the opportunity for participants to obtain valuable information regarding the specific roles to be played by clinical and public health microbiologists.

Budding and Moulding Diagnostics for Fungal Infections: What to Order and When?

Early diagnosis of fungal infections is critical for effective treatment and positive outcomes, especially among immunocompromised patients. Traditional laboratory techniques for the detection of fungal infections are time consuming and are hindered by the slow growth rate of some fungi. The application of innovative technologies for the rapid detection and identification of fungi, such as NAATs, broad-range sequencing, mass spectrometry and antigen testing, has positively impacted turn-around-times and patient care. However, provider ordering practices and result interpretation using this array of methodologies can be challenging. This session will review the performance characteristics and overall utility of molecular testing, including direct from specimen PCR, sequencing and mass spectrometry for fungal identification. Additionally, the clinical utility of fungal biomarkers, including beta-D-glucan, galactomannan, and mannan, alongside specific antibody testing will be discussed with an emphasis on appropriate ordering practices and result interpretation. Finally, susceptibility testing methods and trends in resistance for the commonly encounter fungi will be outlined. The session will also incorporate a look at what the future holds for fungal testing, including new biomarker discovery and molecular test development. These lectures will use case-based scenarios and interactive attendee participation to help clarify the advantages and limitations of both traditional and contemporary fungal diagnostic assays.

Diagnostic Microbiology and Epidemiology: Evolution and Revolution

The purpose of this session is to highlight the 10 most significant reports during the past year that integrate Infection Control practice with Diagnostic Microbiology testing. Often questions arise after reading a report on a new technology or approach that cannot be answered by simply reading the paper and there is a need for more information or explanation. This session is designed for the participants to hear directly from the author of 10 important studies and then interact directly with them by asking questions or seeking clarification on what was done, what was reported, and what is the potential impact. The conveners will have read the papers ahead of the session and each will develop one question for clarification or additional information that the presenters can provide as part of their lectures. The overall goal is for all those in attendance to understand how this new development might impact their laboratory and if it might be useful for their healthcare setting.