The fourth HARC workshop, “Respiratory infections in the elderly - the role in exacerbations of chronic airway diseases”, chaired by Professor Marek L. Kowalski took place on May 29-30, 2014 at the Medical University of Lodz with more than 100 participants. The faculty included 18 internationally renowned scientists involved in studies on various aspects of the role of infections in the pathogenesis and exacerbations of asthma and COPD with emphasis on the elderly population. The workshop has been arranged in 5 main sessions and poster presentation session. The workshop was opened by the Rector of MUL prof. Paweł Górski and HARC Coordinator prof. Marek L. Kowalski
During the first session the lectures were presented by prof. Peter Burney (UK) (Obstructive airway diseases in the elderly from epidemiologic perspective), by prof. Calogero Caruso (IT) (Sex and immunosenescence), by Dr. Evelyna Derhovanessian (Germany) (Human immunosenescence: impact of Cytomegalovirus infection) and by Dr Krzysztof Trzciński (NL) (Immunosenescence and pneumococcal pneumonia – path to disease in the elderly).
The second session included lectures provided by prof. Ronald Dahl (DK) (Exacerbations prone phenotypes of COPD), prof. Wojciech Piotrowski (PL) (Bacteria in COPD exacerbations) by Dr Patrick Mallia (UK) (Viruses in COPD exacerbation) and by prof Claus Bachert from Belgium (Late onset airway disease: the link between sinusitis and asthma).
In the afternoon session three lectures were presented: by prof. Marek L. Kowalski (PL) (Asthma in the elderly), by Dr Lawrence DuBuske (USA) (Role of bacteria in asthma exacerbations) and Dr Ana Rebane (EE) (miRNA in regulation of airway inflammation).
The second day started with lecture of Dr Adamantia Liapikou (GR) (Community- acquired pneumonia in the elderly), followed by presentations of prof. Adam Antczak (PL) (Invasive pneumococcal disease in the elderly), prof. Ewa Jassem (PL) (The risk of pneumonia in patients on inhaled corticosteroids) and prof. Riccardo Polosa (IT) (Smoking and respiratory exacerbations).
The last session was devoted to vaccination against respiratory infections: prof. Parveen Yaqoob (UK) spoke on nutrition and response to vaccination-implications for the management of elderly population), Dr Joanna Chorostowska - Wynimko (PL) on influenza vaccination in patients with chronic respiratory diseases – focus on elderly population) and Dr Ernesto Oviedo-Orta (IT) concluded the meeting with the lecture on development of new vaccines for the elderly. All sessions included time for questions and answers providing a chance for lively and profound discussions. In addition young researchers from Medical University of Lodz as well as from other Polish academic centers presented posters with their original research.
The Workshop was well attended by students and academics from Medical University of Łódź and other medical institutions. Finally, the organizers are happy to note that both participant and invited speakers emphasized inspiring atmosphere as well as very good logistics and on-site organization.