The 39th Annual Meeting of the European Society for Paediatric Infectious Diseases (ESPID) took place between the 24–29 May 2021, hosted online from Geneva. PERFORM and our sister Horizon2020 project DIAMONDS contributed to the conference with several fascinating presentations. As always, it was a pleasure to take part!

Some highlights from the meet include:
  • In an excellent talk, research presented by Aaskash Khanijau demonstrated the need for improving etiological diagnosis.
  • In her presentation, Sophie Rhys-Evans described clinical and laboratory discriminators between MIS- C and other infectious and inflammatory diseases: Distinguishing MIS-C From Other Causes of Inflammatory or Infectious Disease: An International Collaboration from the Multi-Centre Diamonds Study.
  • Heather Jackson spoke about how host RNA-Sequencing may decode MISC and provide potential diagnostic biomarkers: Whole Blood Host RNA Sequencing Offers an In-Depth Understanding of MIS-C and Identifies Biomarkers with Diagnostic Potential.
  • Myrsini Kaforou provided preliminary data on a 2-gene biosignature to distinguish between COVID-19 and other definite bacterial and viral infections: Characterisation of the Host Blood Gene Expression Profiles of Children With Covid-19 and Identification of Diagnostic Biomarkers.

While we missed meeting our colleagues and friends for conference coffees this year, hosting the meet online meant that the content was more accessible than ever before, and for those who registered, all of the ESPID meeting materials and networking features will be available until 29 August 2021.  Though we look forward to hopefully all being together again next year! 

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This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No. 848196