Report on the 6th ESID Prague Spring Meeting
May 14-15, 2007, Prague
Department of Immunology, 2nd Medical School, Charles University, Prague
On May 14 and 15, the sixth ESID Prague Spring meeting was held at the University Hospital Motol, Prague, Czech Republic. More than thirty participants from 12 countries, namely Czech Republic, Lithuania, Poland, Slovenia, Slovakia, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Finland, United Kingdom, Turkey and Iran attended and actively participated in the event; mean age of the participants was less than 35 years (ranging from 23 to 54).
Since its launch in 2002 the Prague ESID meeting has been devoted to the exchange of information on primary immunodeficiencies (PIDs) between Western and Central Europe. This year the main task was to bring together the youngest researchers and clinicians of ESID community. The aim was accomplished through an excellent attendance from EU member states, as well as from our close and further neighbours – Turkey and Iran.
The invited speakers were Andy R. Gennery from BMT Unit in Newcastle General Hospital, UK, Marita Bosticardo from San Raffaele Telethon Institute for Gene Therapy (HSR-TIGET) in Milan, Italy and Miriam van der Burg from Department of Immunology, Erasmus MC, Netherlands.
The introductory lecture of the meeting served as an overview of current progress in haematopoietic stem cell transplantation for primary immunodeficiencies given by Andy R. Gennery, followed by interesting review on gene therapy protocols in Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome presented by Marita Bosticardo. Apart from these surveys relevant case reports flavoured this part of the programme.
Another section of the first day focused on antibody deficiencies. The participants could learn about European study on quality assurance of pneumococcal assays, molecular defects in CVID, clinical relevance of anti-IgA antibodies and clinical data extraction. Case reports on patients with defects in humoural immunity were inspiring elements of this section.
A review on recombination defects in PID was given by Miriam van der Burg at the beginning of the programme on the second day accompanied by instructive case reports on skin presentations in patients with SCID and a follow-up of a patient with Cernunnos deficiency introduced at this meeting last year. An overview of IPEX syndrome and atypical presentation of this syndrome in one family closed this section on severe immunodeficiencies.
A number of talks on chronic granulomatous disease were given by colleagues from Slovenia and Poland. Representatives from Iran informed the audience about phagocyte and complement defects in their homeland.
The first part of the afternoon programme was dedicated to a discussion on current and future activities of ESID Juniors that resulted in a few propositions enhancing future collaboration. Thankworthy projects of enthusiastic team of Prof Vihinen from Finland on information services in primary immunodeficiencies were presented, followed by an overview of PID diseases in Iran.
The last but one section concentrated on unusual and interesting case reports. These cases were highly appreciated and brought to the programme quite practical aspects connecting the bench work with the clinic.
The social programme is an indispensable part of the Prague Spring ESID meeting, as it enables further fostering of close cooperation between all the participants. The relaxing stroll through Prague Castle, dinner in a restaurant in the historical quarter of Prague and a concert in a jazz club in the city centre were all enjoyed by the participants.
The meeting was organized as a part of the activities related to the Day of Immunology, declared by EFIS on 29th April, 2007. It was supported by the Charles University, 2nd Medical School, Prague and by University Hospital in Motol, Prague. Substantial contributions came from pharmaceutical companies Baxter, Grifols, Exbio, Immunotech, Olympus, Baria, ITA-BD, Schoeller and Binding Sites company that provided not only financial support but also books on diagnostics. Thanks to generous help of Talecris three travel grants approved by ESID board could be distributed to Crina Samarghitean (Finland), Lucia Bianchi (Italy) and Ömür Ardeniz (Turkey).
We thank all the participants for their contributions and we are looking forward to next meeting in 2008!
Anna Sediva, Ales Janda
Prague, May 29, 2007