Items around multi-resistant pathogens are in the focus of this year’s 25th Congress of Infectiology and Hygiene in Freiburg ( 5 to 7 Oktober). We spoke with Dr. Ernst Tabori, head of the congress and director of the German consulting centre for hygiene.
Mr. Tabori, two years ago, the former health minister Daniel Bahr opened the Freiburger Infektiologie- und Hygienekongress with the words “We have come a bit further, but in my view we (Germany) have a backlog in dealing with hygiene.” On the occasion of the upcoming 25th Congress of Infectiology and Hygiene the question arises what exactly changed in the meantime?
Sometimes you are tempted to answer “nothing” on this question – but if you look more closely you can see that this must be viewed on a differentiated basis. Both the amended Infection Protection Act as well as the decree of Hygiene Regulations in all federal states have initiated a shift in consciousness, which makes infection prevention an important part of health care. Today hygiene is perceived more consciously.
Items around multi-resistant pathogens are in the focus of this year’s Congress. What questions will be discussed in this context?
Every third long-distance traveller brings home a multi-resistant pathogen (MRP) in his gut as a “travel souvenir”. A recent study confirms the fear that multi-resistant strains are spreading because of the international travel, in particular from the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia. Another item in this context that will be discussed is the development of multi-drug resistance in livestock farming in connection with the huge use of antibiotics.
What measures are necessary in the fight against multi-resistant pathogens?
MRSA, ESBL, SARS, MERS-CoV and Ebola have shown the world that today epidemics and the development of multiresistant bacterial strains can no longer be regarded as an regional problem of one nation. We need a more permanent solution to such problems: a global coordinated strategy and huge efforts to master this major threat. Every human being needs the access to a primary health care and basic hygiene. The time has come for this year’s G-7 Leaders Declaration that “the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health is one of the fundamental rights of every human being.” Therefore they strongly committed to continue their engagement in this field.
What is the goal of this year’s event?
We want to make clear that the measures taken today with antimicrobials will play a crucial role for the current and future success of human and veterinary medicine. The more participants support this objective, the more likely we will succeed.