Physician Roll Call: Hottest Topic in Infectious Disease

OCTOBER 15, 2017
Jenna Payesko


Louise Ivers, MD, MPH, DTMH: I think some of the interesting things that are happening, are around the treatment of hepatitis C in resource-limited settings, and how we have a lot of issues and problems in terms of patients with hepatitis C. And again we have a treatment, we have a cure and we need to be able to try to find access for those patients to get treatment. So just like in the 80s and 90s when we were fighting for access for antiretroviral treatment for people living with HIV in poor places, I think the current thing on the agenda is trying to get access to hepatitis C treatments for folks as well.

Esther Benamu, MD: I mean the hottest topic tends to be, you know emerging infections, So any emergent infection that is being a little bit more frequent this year, outbreaks. That's what usually is hotter.

Tom Chiller, MD: Wow, I mean, that's a tough question because I'm probably biased, I'm a mycologist. I study fun fungus, I'm a fun guy as I like to say, and so I mean I think there's some fascinating issues in emerging fungal diseases. But at the same time, you know these hemorrhagic viruses, how Ebola spread so rapidly in Africa during the outbreak that we had, some of the other older viruses that seem to be coming back, emerging resistance that is becoming really, really challenging to treat these organisms. All these things are hot topics in my mind, but it's hard for me to have 1 single hot topic in infectious diseases because I'm fascinated by it all. 

Simone Thair, PhD: I'm really biased because what I do all day is try to determine what's going on using sequencing. And so I think that particularly as the cost of sequencing goes down for academics, staying focused on those talks where we're using that technology in all of its you know, pros and cons, I feel that for me, it's the most exciting thing to attend and because there are challenges technically speaking, and watching people overcome them is really exciting. 

Shibani Mukerji, MD, PhD: Well infectious diseases, so I was gonna say in HIV specifically, you know really peoples hearts and minds are really thinking about sort of cure. I mean now that cure is in our sights and goals and minds, I think that is perhaps, 1 of the most exciting sort of avenues and fields. So we're trying to think about you know, I'm interested in how any of these vaccine trials, how any sort of cure trials affect the brain, how does a brain actually participate and if it's involved. So that to me is actually what's exciting for the horizons. 

James McKinnell, MD: I think it's the the spate of new antibiotics. If you look at the range of new agents that are being brought to market now, this is probably 1 of the most exciting times to be an infectious disease doctor because we get to start to use these novel agents to save patients lives. This is our chance to maybe get a leg up for the next few years, so it's a very exciting time for infectious disease.

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