Chairmans report 2021/2022

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     August 30th, 2022

NSCMID chairman´s report 2021/2022

Annual meeting 2021: COVID-19 pandemic kept still many of the Society members busy during 2021-2022. Vaccination changed the faces of the disease with less severe pneumonitis although the infection rates rose to highest numbers during the epidemic. Societal restrictions were relieved and the 37th Annual Meeting of NSCMID which was cancelled due the pandemic in Stockholm in September 2020 was held instead in Turku, Finland in Sept. 3-6, 2021. The meeting was held as a hybrid meeting with both on-site and on-line participants and lectures. Altogether, the meeting gathered around 250 participants with 175 physically in the Logomo Congress Center. The meeting was chaired by Prof Jaana Vuopio and the organizing committee had to work with high uncertainty on what would be possible.

The sessions in the Annual Meeting covered COVID-19 pandemic and future pandemic preparedness, surgical, pediatric and pneumococcal infections as well as antimicrobial resistance, bacterial screening, novel technologies & therapies, traveler’s vaccination and human microbiome. Honorary lecture by Prof Terho Heikkinen was entitled “Viruses are hotter than ever”. The Annual Meeting was not only scientifically successful but also gathered a considerable economical surplus for future activities.

2021 NSCMID Annual General Meeting was held in Turku in 5th Sept 2021. New board members nominated by the National Societies were Hanna Jarva (CM, Finland), Annika Ljung (CM, Sweden) and Truls Michael Leegard (CM, Norway)Asko Järvinen (ID, Finland) was elected as the Chairman, Ole Schmeltz Søgaard (ID, Denmark) as a new board member and Kirstine K Søgaard as young board member by e Society members in the Annual General Meeting.  Magnus Gottfredsson (ID, Iceland) was thanked for his chairmanship, and he stayed as a past President in the Board.   Anders Johansson (ID, Sweden) continued in the board as a Secretary, Björn Blomberg (ID, Norway) as a Treasurer, and Lena-Ros Ásmundsdóttir (CM, Iceland) as a board member and Hans Linde Nielsen (CM, Denmark) as the next meeting President. Nina Breinholt Stærke accepted to continue as the webmaster.  It was also decided to keep membership dues unchanged. Upcoming meetings and other activities were discussed.

SSAC Foundation meeting in Stockholm: The SSAC Foundation is a legal entity under the auspices of Svenska Läkaresällskapet where NSCMID members only can apply for grants supporting research and scientific meetings. The SSAC Foundation board had a meeting for grant decisions 14th March 2022. Ten among 16 eligible applications from NSCMID members were funded with a total of 1 244 500 SEK. 50 000 SEK were granted to travel support for young scientists to the upcoming NSCMID meeting in Denmark. 350 000 SEK was reserved for the upcoming scientific NSCMID meeting in Aalborg to be used if needed because of economic shortage. Alternatively, these money will be kept by the SSAC Foundation and can be distributed in 2023.

NSCMID board meeting. The NSCMID board met in Turku 3rd September, 2021 and 15th March 2022 in Stockholm and focused on planning the coming Annual Meetings.

Treasurer’s summary of the financial situation
During the last four years, the equity declined steadily from over 2.1 million DKK in 2014-2017 to 1.4 million DKK last fiscal year (2020-21). The decline was aggravated by the pandemic and resultant cancellation of the planned Stockholm conference 2020. Fortunately, during the current fiscal year, 2021-22, the organization has had a large net profit of 1.2 million DKK, mainly driven by a healthy surplus from the successful Turku conference in 2021 (0.95 mill) and the equally successful NordicAST workshop (0.34 mill). This has resulted in a healthy equity of 2.6 million DKK, the highest in 7 years.  In conclusion, NSCMID has experienced a vigorous economic recovery after a pandemic-driven decline during the last couple of years

NSCMID Working groups: High level isolation working group had no meetings in 2021 due to COVID-19 but the members have actively changed views on patient treatment and the epidemic situation. The chair is Arne Broch Brantsæter.

The NordicAST had three on-line board meetings in 2021 and could reuptake the traditional 2-day workshop in Gothenburg in May 2022 which had been cancelled because of the pandemic the past 2 years. The workshop was fully booked with about 180 participants. The chair was Iren Høyland Löhr in 2021 and Barbara Holzknecht from 2022.

Nordic paediatric infectious diseases group, NORPID had four face-to-face meetings in 2021 planning collaborative research in pediatric infectious diseases. In 2022 NORPID received a grant of 12.000 euros from the NSCMID. The chair is Terho Heikkinen.

Nordic tick borne disease group organized the NordTick conference in June in Fevik and has published several papers on diagnostics of tick borne infections. Chair is Anna J Henningsson. Other working groups (parasites, shiga-toxin producing E. coli) have not provided reports to the society for 2021-2022.

Annual meeting 2022: This year´s annual meeting in Aalborg, Denmark Sept.  1-4, 2022 is chaired by Hans Linde Nielsen.

As a new chairman I will thank the past chairman prof. Magnus Gottfredsson and the board members and especially NSMCMID members for good collaboration and hard work during the busy times. COVID-19 pandemic has changed our daily working routines and challenged not only us but also the modern communities in many ways. It has pointed out the importance of good collaboration between Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases and calls us to work together to solve threats from infections hidden by COVID-19 and the optimal use of rapid development in microbiological diagnostics.  I my mind this encourages us in the future work for NSCMID and its Annual Meetings.

Wishing success for NSCMID and its members in their efforts,

Professor Asko Järvinen, NSCMID chairman