The 51st Union World Conference on Lung Health took place on 20-24 October 2020 and marked the 100th anniversary of the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease. It was planned to be organized in Sevilla, Spain but due to the current pandemic was held in the virtual format. The Union World Conference is the world’s largest gathering of people working to end the suffering caused by lung disease and the most important platform for scientists, community, policymakers and political leaders to both deliver and promote solutions.
During 4 days of the conference, a total of 196 online sessions of oral presentations within 7 parallel streams took place.
At the section "Epidemiology of tuberculosis", head of the laboratory of molecular epidemiology and evolutionary genetics Dr Igor Mokrousov made an oral talk “Trends in molecular epidemiology of drug resistant tuberculosis in Estonia” (coauthors — A. Vyazovaya, K. Levina, V. Zhuravlev, P. Viiklepp, M. Kütt). He presented results of the collaboration with North Estonian Medical Centre Foundation and Estonian Tuberculosis Registry. Senior researcher of the same laboratory Dr Anna Vyazovaya presented two audiovisual posters "Molecular characterization of Mycobacterium tuberculosis isolates in the Russian region with unexpectedly low TB incidence" (coauthors — I. Lebedeva, A. Gerasimova, N. Solovieva, N. Ushakova, O. Narvskaya, V. Zhuravlev, V. Pavlov, I. Mokrousov) and "Synthesis and evaluation of new compounds efficient against Mycobacterium tuberculosis isolates circulating in high-burden country, Russian Federation" (coauthors I. Slavchev, V. Valcheva, M. Dogonadze, M. Zaharieva, N. Solovieva, O. Narvskaya, V. Zhuravlev, G. Dobrikov). The latter study was carried out in collaboration with Institute of Organic Chemistry and Institute of Microbiology, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences. These research projects of the laboratory are carried out with support from the Russian Science Foundation (grants 19-14-00013 and 19-15-00028).
Several sections were devoted to research on the new coronavirus SARS-CoV2.
The conference was marked by global luminaries, signifying the vital importance of the fight against tuberculosis and lung disease, such as WHO leaders, former US President Bill Clinton, and Dr Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, who led a special session on the development of a vaccine for SARS-CoV2. Plenary sessions drew on the conference theme, ‘Advancing Prevention’, focusing on the urgent need for better TB prevention tools. There was considerable focus on the impact of COVID-19, as well as its effect on marginalised communities and TB globally. A special side event, TBScience, was entirely devoted to basic and translational tuberculosis research. Sessions present and discuss recent findings on TB transmission, infection and disease.
Read more on the conference highlights at:
Abstracts were published in the International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease and are freely available at: https://conf2020.theunion.org/programme/abstract-book/
Note. International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (The Union) was founded 100 years ago; it is a global scientific organisation working to improve health for people in low- and middle-income countries. They do this by conducting scientific research, working with governments and other agencies to translate research into better health for people around the world, and delivering projects directly in the field. The mission of the Union is to promote national autonomy within the framework of the priorities of each country by developing, implementing, supporting and assessing anti-tuberculosis, lung health, tobacco and non-communicable disease programmes as well as other programmes to address other public health issues including COVID-19.