The global infectious disease and clinical microbiology community meets every year at the European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (ECCMID), the world’s largest congress on infectious diseases and medical microbiology, to present and discuss recent research results and to offer solutions to the most pressing infection problems.

The 2016 ECCMID annual conference, organized by the European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (ESCMID), will take place April 9-12 in Amsterdam. Discussions at this event not only help translate research findings into diagnostic tools, guidelines, best practices, and international policies; they also raise awareness of emerging health care challenges.

At ECCMID 2016, researchers will present more than 3,000 abstracts with the latest findings and recommendations to help improve diagnosis, prevention, and the clinical care given to patients. The Congress offers more than 150 oral presentations, including keynote lectures, symposia, oral sessions, educational workshops, and meet-the-experts sessions, as well as more than 2,000 poster presentations.

The main topics this year are strategies to detect and tackle antimicrobial resistance in various settings, approaches for prevention involving vaccines and infection control, as well as descriptions of novel diagnostic technologies. Always among the most popular sessions are lectures by winners of the ESCMID Award for Excellence and the Young Investigator Awards , as well as oral presentations on groundbreaking research, and late-breaking abstracts.

Also included will be mini oral “e-poster” presentations. Printed posters will be presented, but they will also be available at e-poster viewing stations, where visitors can scroll through abstracts of paper presentations.

Keynote speeches this year will feature innovative approaches to vaccines; microbiome and tuberculosis therapies; lectures on how nonhuman antibiotics affect public health; and an economic perspective on antimicrobial resistance.

Special topics

This year, the ECCMID Program Committee has decided to offer two special tracks for the late-breaking abstract sessions, focused on topics requiring a coordinated response from infection specialists across all disciplines.

The first topic is refugee and migrant health. The thousands of people who are currently migrating challenge public health systems in transition and the host countries. Clinicians and public health specialists need to develop strategies for the screening, prevention, and treatment of infectious diseases that were largely eradicated in Europe but are now gradually being reintroduced.

The second focus of the late-breaking abstracts is on emerging colistin resistance. Reports about the emergence of plasmid-borne resistance to this last-resort antibiotic have come from China, Canada, the United Kingdom, and most countries in continental Europe. Colistin resistance can spread easily between different types of bacteria, says Dr. Murat Akova , current ESCMID president and professor of medicine at Hacettepe University in Ankara, Turkey, and the world needs to wake up and take note.

In terms of viral infections, experts at the Congress will evaluate HIV and hepatitis C treatments in several interesting sessions. Researchers will also present results on emerging infections, including those caused by the Zika virus. Dr. Jean Paul Stahl , vice chairman of the ESCMID Study Group for Infectious Diseases of the Brain and professor of infectious diseases at University Hospital in Grenoble, France, says the current Zika virus epidemic is an important example of the great need we have for new evidence-based approaches on how to best manage emerging infections.

The outbreaks of Zika and Ebola in the last few years have seen the international community mobilize on infectious disease issues in a more collaborative manner than ever before, which should help reduce the severity of future outbreaks. But viral infections extend far beyond the recent outbreaks of unusual pathologies, and there are a number of important developments taking place among some of the more common viruses.

For more information on ECCMID 2016, visit .

Dr. Winfried V. Kern is professor of medicine at the Albert Ludwigs University of Freiburg and head of the division of infectious diseases, department of medicine, and Centre for Infectious Diseases and Travel Medicine, University Hospital, Freiburg, Germany. His professional interests include bacterial multidrug resistance mechanisms and epidemiology, hospital antibiotic stewardship programs, health care–associated infections including infections in the immunocompromised host.