Interactive quiz shows add a new twist to the 69th AACC Annual Scientific Meeting & Clinical Lab Expo. One of these not-to-miss events is the Infectious Disease Quiz Show (34212) on Aug. 2 from 4 to 5 p.m., which will engage the audience on timely issues such as the Zika virus, mass spectrometry (MS), antimicrobial resistance, and other infectious diseases issues and diagnostic solutions. 

Carey-Ann Burnham, PhD, and Melanie Yarbrough, PhD will be moderating this unique session. Burnham is associate professor of pathology and immunology, molecular microbiology, and pediatrics at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. Yarbrough is an instructor of pathology and immunology at Washington University School of Medicine. 

“Our objective is to use our combined experiences to create a highly educational session. It is our hope that the quiz show format will foster a bit of fun competition to help facilitate audience participation and stimulate learning,” Burnham told CLN Stat. 

In her view, this was an ideal time to introduce this session to the membership of AACC. 

The “walls” of the clinical laboratory are coming down. What’s historically been considered a “microbiology test” or a “chemistry test” may now be performed in any area of the clinical laboratory. “Thus, collaboration and integration of laboratory medicine professionals is essential,” Burnham said. 

Use of matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization-time of flight (MALDI-TOF) MS to identify microorganisms exemplifies a recent advancement contributing to these trends, she added. 

The speakers plan to discuss recent advancements in clinical microbiology, which include not only MALDI-TOF MS but also newer agents contributing to the changing landscape of infectious diseases, such as multidrug-resistant pathogens, Zika virus, and Candida auris. “Laboratories are challenged to rapidly respond with diagnostic testing methods for these emerging illnesses, so education in this area is important,” Burnham said. 

Burnham is creator and co-editor of Medical Microbiology Question of the Day,” a website that sends out microbiology-related questions weekly to individuals who want to stay up to date on medical microbiology and infectious diseases topics. People seem to enjoy this interactive format, so “we thought it would be fun to take this a step further and craft a symposium that reflects the energy and community of this educational tool,” she said. 

FXP Touch, a mobile-device-based audience response and engagement system that AACC is offering for the first time, will enhance this interactive experience. Burnham said she and Yarbrough will use this tool to ask questions in different formats, setting the stage for some friendly competition. 

Attendees should expect to acquire the following skills: describe the importance of the emerging multidrug-resistant fungus Candida auris and discuss how the use of MALDI-TOF MS in clinical microbiology is contributing to new insights in the understanding of microbes that cause infection. 

Register now for the 69th AACC Annual Scientific Meeting & Clinical Lab Expo July 30-Aug. 3 in San Diego so you can get your game on for the Infectious Disease Quiz Show on Aug. 2.