October 8th, 2018

“Mini”-Really Rapid Review — IDWeek 2018, San Francisco

This is a very valuable pear.

Once upon a time, the annual meeting of the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) wasn’t much of a research conference.

It consisted mostly of review sessions on topics deemed worthy of an update or a refresher, led by noted experts in the field. They would cite the latest literature on endocarditis, or mycoplasma, or prosthetic joint infections, or malaria, or transplant infections, or HIV complications, or sternotomy infections following cardiac surgery.

(I kid you not about that last one … to each their own, I guess!)

Some of this was good stuff — cutting edge and exciting — but some was frankly kind of tedious. You went because it was “good for you”, kind of like eating kale if you don’t like kale.

And pretty much all of it was led by white men of a certain age — which is my age now, give or take a decade, good grief.

My, how times have changed, and emphatically for the better.

The IDSA meeting, re-branded “IDWeek” a few years ago, now mixes in original research with not only these terrific review sessions (you can still skip the one on sternotomy infections), but also challenging case presentations, entertaining debates, policy updates, and awards.

Importantly, presenters, participants, and awardees all increasingly reflect the diversity of our field, making the meeting feel much more inviting and collegial — a very welcome change.

There’s so much going on no one can cover it all, certainly not me. So here’s a sampling of some (emphasis on some) of the interesting research presentations from last week, a “Mini” Really Rapid Review™ of the conference. Use the comments section to chime in with your favorites.

There was plenty more, of course — read the many responses to this query!

As for the pear, it cost a staggering $4.64 in my hotel lobby. Remember when San Francisco was affordable? I don’t either.

At least I saved money on the flight out there.

10 Responses to ““Mini”-Really Rapid Review — IDWeek 2018, San Francisco”

  1. Nada Fadul says:

    A wonderful recap! There was so much going on and I could not attend half of what you reviewed here, so thank you Dr. Sax!!!

  2. Donna O’Neill says:

    The gender gap hit not only a nerve but my spinal cord. Something us gals have known and now we have more evidence. Now what do we do about it??

    Addiction medicine. We need a Bono to get behind this huge issue like he did for HIV.

    NMT sessions especially those on the very hard to treat Mycobateria abscessus.

    The wheel of HIV knowledge was a hit and a fun way to test our knowledge.

  3. Loretta S says:

    This made me gulp when I read it in that first linked study about outpatient antibiotic prescriptions: fluoroquinolones were 11% of the antibiotics prescribed. As much as I have loved FQs in the past (they DO work so well for some common primary care infections), I pretty much regard them as radioactive now, due to all the warnings and adverse effects that have been documented. Do they have their place? Of course. But 11% of outpatient antibiotic Rxs? No way.

    Thanks, as always, Paul. Have you trademarked Really Rapid Review yet? 😉

    Yeah, I clicked on Louie’s photo. How could I not?

  4. Carlos del Rio says:

    Thanks Paul, great summary!

  5. Stuart Ray says:

    Great mini review, and I share your enthusiasm for the improvements in the meeting!

    I don’t share your disdain for N-95 masks, but I do agree that the negative study (comparison with standard surgical masks) for prevention of viral respiratory infections is encouraging (and economically advantageous). Given the sloppy way most wear surgical masks, I doubt that they work (to the extent they work) by filtering inspired air; it seems to me more likely that they work by preventing people from touching their nose and mouth.

  6. Thanks for a great summary! Sorry I missed ID Week. Next year I plan to be there.

    The jury is still out on N95s, in my opinion.


  7. Lauri Ivaska says:

    Greetings from Finland and Thanks for a great sum up, Dr. Sax! Couldn’t attend IDweek this year myself.

    And for your surgical colleagues, if they want to decrease surgical site infections w/o adverse events: They could switch to triclosan-sutures as some of my Finnish colleagues suggested couple of years ago


    Kind regards,
    Lauri Ivaska

  8. Michael says:

    I would be really interested in seeing a head-to-head comparing daptomycin + fosfomycin versus daptomycin + beta-lactam — I can dream, can’t I?

  9. Stephen Felts says:

    I’m confused by the comments about post operative sternotomy infections. Obviously there are many fewer such incisions than in pre angioplasty days, but I doubt that such infections have gone away completely?

HIV Information: Author Paul Sax, M.D.

Paul E. Sax, MD

Contributing Editor

NEJM Journal Watch
Infectious Diseases

Biography | Disclosures | Summaries

Learn more about HIV and ID Observations.