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We are excited to once again assemble many of the leading clinicians and scientists from around the world for the 9th Advances Against Aspergillosis and Mucormycosis conference, to take place in Lugano, Switzerland from 27th to 29th February 2020. This conference has now clearly established itself as the premier forum for detailed and dedicated discussion of all aspects of Aspergillus infection and research. Beginning with the 8th conference, we have expanded to now include scientific sessions on mucormycosis pathogenesis, diagnosis, and treatment.
The Aspergillus field continues in a state of rapid advancement, including the publication of numerous post-genomic papers and substantial advances in translational, immunologic, epidemiologic and diagnostic research. The mucormycosis field is similarly advancing with novel studies in pathogenesis and diagnostic options. The launch of several antifungals in the last few years and anticipated clinical trials of newer compounds with novel mechanisms of action is an exciting time for mycology. Pan-azole, and echinocandin Aspergillus resistance has emerged and requires unique approaches, and combination therapy remains an important area of interest for both aspergillosis and mucormycosis. Greatly increased awareness of allergic aspergillosis has opened new opportunities for both antifungal agents and immunotherapies. New molecular strategies for diagnosis continue to make progress, and recent guidelines offer increased diagnostic insight. There is a continuing high death toll from invasive aspergillosis and mucormycosis, including patient groups not usually associated with this opportunistic infection. This meeting is another chance to gather the world’s aspergillosis and mucormycosis experts in one venue. A fundamental tenet of this colloquium continues to be to engender collaborative relationships amongst clinicians, scientists, and industry to further advance the field.
The conference will be held in charming Lugano, a vibrant European city with excellent transport links. It is also conveniently located for post-conference touring of educational, historic, and lovely areas of Switzerland and nearby Italy. Continuing education credit will be arranged through the Royal College of Physicians in London, which will provide appropriate CPD and CME credit for participants.
The Scientific Committee is being assembled, and the Scientific Committee Chair selected for this 9th meeting will be Prof. Cornelia Lass-Florl of Innsbruck, Austria. Speakers will be selected who are actively advancing the field with new discoveries. We again anticipate a truly international speaker list, and almost all the speakers will not have spoken at a recent Advances Against Aspergillosis meeting, in order to attract and display new talent and perspectives in the topic area. By our design, the majority of the newest published literature and hypotheses in the entire field have originated from the planned speakers of this conference. We anticipate more oral presentations from the excellent selection of abstracts always received, and in each of the last meetings we published approximately 200 abstracts. Ample time for discussion, and informal exchanges between participants, will again be planned. After each of the previous meetings, a journal supplement was published, containing key papers presented.
As Advances Against Aspergillosis has become the leading global meeting for basic and clinical science regarding Aspergillus, its efforts form one of the foundations of the repository of knowledge about this pathogen; 267 papers will have been published in 9 Supplements, comprising >2000 pages of full papers, as well as the 1,429 abstracts from these meetings in the programs.
Because of the international success of the Advances Against Aspergillosis meetings in raising awareness of filamentous fungal infections, we were requested by leading clinicians and scientists studying the Zygomycetes and mucormycosis if we would expand our program to also provide a home and venue for presentations on this related science and its devastating clinical entities. We did this in the 2018 program to include a new platform for that discipline, and will expand that further in the 2020 conference program.