Report on the 5th ESID Prague Spring Meeting
May 8-9, 2006, Prague
Institute of Immunology, 2nd Medical School, Charles University, Prague
On May 8 and 9, 2006, the fifth ESID Prague Spring meeting was held at the University Hospital Motol, Prague, Czech Republic. Twenty seven participants from 10 countries, namely Czech Republic, Estonia, Germany, Hungary, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, Romania, Russia and the UK attended and actively participated in the event; this represents a further increase in participants from a continually widened area. In addition we welcomed again a member from IPOPI and representatives from the sponsoring companies.
Traditionally the main task of the Prague ESID meeting is devoted to the exchange of information on primary immunodeficiencies (PIDs) between Western and Central Europe. This task was accomplished this year through an excellent attendance from both parts of the European continent. The invited speakers were Christine Kinnon from Molecular Immunology Unit, UCL Institute of Child Health in London and Benjamin Gathmann from Department of Rheumatology and Clinical Immunology in Freiburg. As in previous years, Helen Chapel, from the University of Oxford has provided great support in participating in the meeting and helping to organise the educational dimension.
The introductory lecture of the meeting served as an overview of the current state of the gene therapy. Christine Kinnon covered the history of this pioneering treatment option for severe forms of PIDs and outlined its potential prospects as well. One section of the programme of the first day focused on issues with pan-European impact, including the new ESID on-line registry of PIDs and disparities in the diagnosis, care and treatment of PIDs amongst European countries. All the participants, representing 8 EU member states, Romania and Russia, took an active part in the discussions. The outcomes from these fruitful discussions will serve as a base for discussions at the forthcoming EU Public Health Consensus meeting in June 2006 in Germany.
The programme of the second day concentrated on humoral deficiencies, the crucial topic of this year’s meeting. The latest advancements and discoveries in the research of molecular background of antibody deficiencies were discussed as well as laboratory tools used for the classification of these entities. Case reports formed substantial part of the programme, including newly discovered immunodeficiencies, as for example, the recently described Cernunnos deficiency. The unusual and interesting cases were highly appreciated.
The social programme is an important part of the Prague Spring ESID meeting, as it enables further fostering of close cooperation between Central and Western European countries. The relaxing stroll through Prague Castle, dinner in a restaurant in the historical quarter of Prague and a concert in a jazz club were all enjoyed by the participants.
The meeting was supported by the Charles University, 2nd Medical School, Prague and by University Hospital in Motol, Prague and substantial contributions from pharmaceutical companies Baxter, Grifols, Exbio and Immunotech.
Meeting was organized as a part of the activities related to the Day of Immunology, declared by EFIS on 29th April, 2006.
This year meeting has confirmed the still growing scientific quality of the conference and the usefulness of this educational activity.
The next ESID Prague Spring Meeting will be directed mainly at ESID Juniors from as many countries as possible and will be held in Prague on May 14 and 15, 2007.
Anna Sediva, Ales Janda
Prague, May 11, 2006