One of the key benefits of attending congresses across the continent is the opportunity it gives us to talk directly with our Editorial Board. Whilst topics of discussion can pertain to the journal itself, importantly we get to hear first-hand impressions of the congress and learn from the experts themselves what topics they are looking forward to in the future of their respective field. At EAACI this year, we had the pleasure of meeting three of our esteemed contributors: Dr Sarah Karabus, Prof Jacques Bouchard, and Prof Nikolaos Papadopoulos.
Dr Karabus enthusiastically talked about some of the sessions she had attended at this year’s event, including an interesting talk on the link between atopic dermatitis and the microbiome. The microbiome, as she explained, is such an evolving field of discussion and one that holds unmet therapeutic potential across a multitude of diseases. The sessions she had seen had made her reflect on the differences in allergic severity seen across her and her siblings, differences she accounts to varying potential influences of animal proximity they experienced growing up.
Prof Bouchard highlighted the congress’ central theme of precision medicine, and how the potential to tailor specific therapies to specific patients represents a new way of thinking for allergists. Regarding EAACI, Prof Bouchard singled out the pro and con sessions as particularly valuable, as they provide a platform for unbiased and constructive discussion over a range of relevant topics. One of these topics, Prof Bouchard explained, is the role of skin in allergy manifestation, and how treatment or prevention of atopic dermatitis can complement efforts taken to prevent or desensitise children to their allergies.
Finally, Prof Papadopoulos reflected on the EAACI congress as a whole. As past President of EAACI, he commented on how the congress has grown over the years and continually covered almost all relevant topics in the allergy field: both a good and bad feature due to the difficulties it presents in trying to prioritise your schedule accordingly! He chimed that despite EAACI’s size, it has a unique flair and community-feel that makes the congress stand out from others and cements it as a truly important event that any allergist or immunologist would not want to miss out on. These were inspiring words and provided a fitting context for our attendance of the congress.