(provided by the applicant): This application seeks support for an interdisciplinary conference devoted to research and exploring common themes related to polymicrobial infections. This is a new conference that was approved via a competitive application process by the ASM Conference Committee. The main objectives of the conference are to: 1) promote information exchange regarding recent research concerning different types of polymicrobial infections, 2) foster interaction and collaboration between academic and private sector scientists within the disciplines of medical, dental and veterinary pathogenesis, 3) provide a forum for investigators from diverse research backgrounds and career stages to explore common themes in their research. The basic tenets of pathogenesis research were elucidated in Koch's postulates over 150 years ago, and reiterated in the so-called "molecular Koch's postulates" 25 years ago, and involve study of microbes in pure culture to minimize independent variables. However, with the growing availability and application of more sensitive and sophisticated methodology for tracking the epidemiology of infections, there is now a growing appreciation that the majority of infections involve interactions of multiple pathogens within the same host. In many cases, the interaction between the different microbes can profoundly influence the course, severity and treatability of an infection. Recognizing the potential impact o polymicrobial infections, the NIH has released several different solicitations for projects addressing these topics and there has been an explosion in researchers and work in this area. Nevertheless, with the exception of a number of symposia nested within the ASM General Meeting, and several small NIH sponsored workshops, there have not been meetings devoted to this topic. Therefore, this meeting bridging multiple disciplines and fields of study provides a important and unmet opportunity for exchange and development of ideas.
ASM Conference on Polymicrobial Infections This new R13 application seeks support for the ASM Conference on Polymicrobial Infections, which is a new conference that will bring together scientists from diverse backgrounds and fields of study to exchange ideas and explore common research themes. As recent epidemiologic data indicates that the majority of all infections at mucosal surfaces involve multiple agents, this is an extremely important problem with broad impact on public health.