Dear Colleagues and Friends,
On behalf of the Board and the Scientific Organizing Committee we warmly welcome you to the 10th International Symposium on Pneumococci and Pneumococcal Diseases (ISPPD) in Glasgow, Scotland from 26 to 30 June 2016. Convened bi-annually since 1998, this will be the first time ISPPD is being held in the United Kingdom. The UK has a long history of making major medical advances and two of the most relevant with respect to pneumococcal disease prevention and treatment are the developments of vaccines and penicillin. 2016 will mark ten years since the first pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) was added to the childhood vaccination schedule in the UK.
The ISPPD conference has become the premier focus for pneumococcal researchers from all over the world to meet and discuss their multi-disciplinary research. When we first met in 1998 there was no licensed pneumococcal vaccine that was effective in preventing disease in children and consequently, the pneumococcus was one of the most important killers of children under 5 years of age, predominantly via pneumonia. When we meet in Glasgow, the pneumococcal landscape will be very different thanks to several crucial changes: the efforts of the manufacturers who have licensed three separate PCVs since 2000; the foresight and persistence of vaccine policy makers who have introduced PCVs into national immunisation programmes; and GAVI and the Gates Foundation who have facilitated the introduction of PCVs into resource-poor countries. Critical to the latter has been the Advanced Market Commitment to reduce the financial barriers to PCV introduction.
Despite enormous progress in the prevention of pneumococcal disease, challenges remain and addressing these will form the central focus of our meeting. Plenary sessions will discuss the success of PCVs, especially related to the reduction of disease in resource-poor countries, where the burden of disease is most pronounced. But pneumonia is still the leading killer of children globally, and the pneumococcus is still the leading cause, so the ongoing challenge of preventing pneumonia will be a key theme. Antibiotic-resistant pneumococci can make treatment of disease a challenge and this will be discussed. Understanding the susceptibility of the human host to serious pneumococcal disease will be another key theme in the scientific programme.
Furthermore, pneumococcal researchers are using new technologies and novel methodologies to push the boundaries of our understanding of pneumococcal biology, ecology, evolution and the impact of clinical interventions. In many ways our field is moving faster than ever before: for example, in just the past few years genomics has completely revolutionised microbiological research and thousands of pneumococcal genomes now exist in the public domain.
More work needs to be done to reduce the overall burden of pneumococcal disease globally, but at this meeting we will discuss innovative ways to tackle this important global health issue. The ISPPD conference brings together the world's experts in pneumococcal biology, diagnostics, treatment and prevention in a multidisciplinary forum. It offers an unparalleled opportunity for scientists, clinicians, academics, public health, industry and policy experts from around the world to share knowledge and develop collaborations. The Scientific Organizing Committee for ISPPD-10 brings together an international group of investigators with the sole task of creating an inspiring scientific programme that highlights the newest research results, advances the current knowledge base and creates a stimulating venue for discussion. We aim to present the highest quality scientific content from a diverse array of international speakers.
Along with our colleagues and partners, we are delighted and honoured to welcome you to Glasgow, European City of Culture in 2000. Glasgow, on the West Coast of Scotland, is a beautiful city on the River Clyde. It is the largest city in Scotland and has a rich history, stunning architecture, elegant streets and gardens, and some of the finest art museums in the UK. Lonely Planet writes that Glasgow's "sheer vitality is gloriously infectious: the combination of edgy urbanity and the residents' legendary friendliness is captivating". The gorgeous Scottish Highlands, renowned golf courses and superb whiskey distilleries are a short drive from the city for pre- and post-conference excursions.
ISPPD-10 promises to be an outstanding scientific meeting at a state-of-the-art conference facility in an impressive setting. Combined with distinctive social activities, this will be an unforgettable ISPPD meeting. We are delighted to welcome you to Scotland.
Angela Brueggemann and David Goldblatt
Co-Chairs, Scientific Organising Committee