The 68th AACC Annual Scientific Meeting & Clinical Lab Expo draws attendees from across the globe. That means presentations at the meeting are designed to reflect the resulting diversity of practice and professional concerns.

The global focus begins with plenary speaker Sir Richard Peto, professor of medical statistics and epidemiology at the University of Oxford in England, and his talk, Halving Premature Death. He will highlight the effects of preventable causes of death such as tobacco use and explain his vision that with global efforts, halving premature death should be an achievable goal. In a Meet-the-Expert session after his presentation, Peto will elaborate further on and discuss his research with attendees.

Other sessions highlighting global health issues include:

Diagnosing Diarrheal Disease Around the Globe

Diarrheal illness is a major cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. In this session, you’ll receive a multidisciplinary view of diarrheal illness in industrialized and developing nations as a microbiologist, a clinical chemist, and a physician present clinical and laboratory challenges in the diagnosis and management of gastroenteritis.

Addressing Pre- and Post-Analytical Issues in Developing Countries

Pre- and post-analytical errors are common in all laboratories but are especially problematic in developing countries given additional constraints and regional factors. In this session, three experts provide an overview of common pre- and post-analytical errors in developing countries and demonstrate how the American Pacific Federation of Clinical Biochemistry (APFCB) can assist subsidiary associations by educating their members on these problems and developing solutions.

New Approaches to HIV: Recommendations on How to Test and Treat

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently released updated recommendations that use third- and fourth-generation immunoassays, immunoassay-based confirmation, and nucleic acid testing in the HIV testing algorithm. This session will highlight the implications of this algorithm in identifying HIV-1/2 more accurately. Speakers will also discuss the relationship of drug concentrations to therapeutic efficacy, and the potential utility of antiretroviral drug testing.

Challenges and Clinical Impacts of Standardization of Immunoassays

Different laboratories measuring the same analyte using different methods on different instruments can produce clinically meaningful differences in reported results. This variability has important implications for patient care management. The need for comparable and interpretable biochemical results has been the driving force in global immunoassay standardization efforts. In this session, speakers examine three groups of analytes—steroids and peptides, tumor markers, and cardiac markers—addressing the successes, challenges, and future standardization issues for each.

Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) – Research in Treatment and Prevention

HCV and Laboratory Medicine: Testing in Support of Screening and Diagnosis

Debate: Is Hepatitis C of Continuing Concern, or Is It Going Away?

This three-part series on HCV will investigate medical and laboratory issues around the infection, including current clinical trials in search of a vaccine and various tools available for in vitro diagnostic testing. It also includes a debate on the impact of current treatment modalities to eradicate HCV, and whether the infection will continue to be a global health problem.