Report of the 7th Croatian Congress of Microbiology with International Participation

06.07.2022. Novosti

It is our pleasure to report on the “7th Croatian Congress of Microbiology with International Participation” that was held from 24th till 27th of May 2022, at the hotel Terme Sveti Martin in Sveti Martin na Muri, Croatia. The Congress was organised by the Croatian Microbiological Society (CMS) under the auspices of Međimurje County and with the support of the Federation of European Microbiological Societies (FEMS), providing CMS with a Meeting Organizer Grant (MOG), Faculty of Food Technology and Biotechnology and the Croatian Academy of Engineering, with Podravka as a general sponsor and 18 different companies supporting Congress with silver and golden sponsorships (http://hmd-cms.hr/congress2022/).

This meeting, originally planned to be organized in 2020, was, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, postponed for 2 times, being finally organized in May 2022. The Congress gathered more than 130 participants, coming from 10 different countries, with 18 oral lectures (invited and selected speakers) and 68 posters presentations. Congress supported free participation for 11 Early Career scientists by provided them with the FEMS grants. Congress was also visited by more than 30 students, coming from the University North, Varaždin. Following different topics, this conference allowed participants to recognize and better understand tight connection that exist between microorganisms and people, animals, plants as well as with their shared environment joined under general topic of “One health”. Congress was a great opportunity for Croatian microbiologists to present their latest scientific achievements and to discuss plans and ideas for future research projects, being a place to strengthen old and gain new collaborations. With 52 participants being Early Career scientists, this Congress was also shown to be a place where young Croatian microbiologist gathered to meet each other and to share and discuss on their research topics.

Excellent scientific programme covering different topics was split into 6 sessions: Fungi and mycotoxins – how dangerous they are?, Tackling the issue of growing Antimicrobial Resistance, Control and prevention of infectious agents, Environment as the neglected component of the One health triad, Human Microbiome and Nutrition and Contribution of Microbes through Biotechnology, with oral presentation given by 2 invited speakers and 3 speakers selected from the received short abstract list. 13 invited speakers were coming from Greece, UK, France, USA, Italy, Austria, Netherlands and Croatia. After Opening ceremony introduction given by CMS president Roberto Antolović, president of the Organizing committee Ines Sviličić Petrić, President of the Scientific committee Marina Šantić and Deputy Prefect Josip Grivec, in the name of Međimurje County, FEMS President Hilary Lappin-Scott gave a welcome speech under title ”FEMS support for the microbiology community, early career researchers through an inclusive approach” while prof. Colin Harwood had an introductory plenary lecture “Bacillus protein secretion: The signal recognition particle-mediated co-translational secretion pathway”.  During poster sessions, presented by the participants at 2 different intervals, excellent flash 5-minute presentations were given by 12 young participants selected by the Programme committee. Out of 68 posters presentations 4-group committee selected 3 of them for the best poster award, with prize supported by Croatian Microbiological Society but also with FEMS, who decided, following excellent comments at the Congress itself, to additionally support young microbiologists with prize money. Conference programme was also followed by sponsors corners (Microfair) held during several coffee breaks with 18 sponsors supporting the Congress. Two golden sponsorships (Merck and Selvita) also had short 10-minute lectures within the regular programme, held in the conference hall.

Within the Congress programme tribune ”The role of microbes under the umbrella of One Health” was also organized with a great success, during which fruitful discussions took place. Maja Rupnik, from Slovenian microbiological society gave introductory lecture and hosted the Tribune, was joined by panellists Maja Abram, Ana Soldo, Maja Cvek and Bojan Šarkanj, coming from diverse fields including pharmacy, medicine, public health and environmental sciences, which gave this Tribune a wider look at the topic of One health.

In addition to the excellent scientific programme, social programme included Welcome reception held for all participants under the blue and sunny sky of the Hotel terrasse. Dinner was supported by our general sponsor Podravka who provided us with Croatian food specialities. Field trip with vine tasting and music programme and the Gala dinner were organized for the Congress participants in a Štampar vinery with beautiful view on Mađerkin breg and in the pub Potkova.

We thank all the participants for their scientific involvement that significantly contributed to the success of the “7th Croatian Congress of Microbiology with International Participation˝. Hope to meet you all again in 4 years.

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