Late-Breaking Sessions on COVID-19

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These late-breaking scientific sessions will cover timely and novel research on the evolving SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. AACC will continue to add more sessions on this pressing topic as we get closer to the meeting, so be sure to check back here for updates.

Special Presentation From Admiral Brett P. Giroir, MD

A headshot of Admiral Brett P. Giroir, MD, who leads the coordination of COVID-19 testing efforts across the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

COVID-19: Past, Present, and Future

Tuesday, December 15
4:30 - 5:30 p.m. U.S. Central Time

Brett P. Giroir, MD, who leads the coordination of SARS-CoV-2 testing efforts across the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), will deliver a special presentation at this year’s meeting. Dr. Giroir is an admiral in the U.S. Public Health Service, assistant secretary for health at HHS, and the U.S. representative on the executive board of the World Health Organization. More information on this session will be coming soon.

32113 Pandemic Preparedness: The Role of Clinical Laboratories and Public Health in Controlling Outbreaks Representing a Global Health Threat

Monday, December 14
11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. U.S. Central Time

The global outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has once again highlighted the potential for infectious diseases to have a significant impact on healthcare and the global economy. Over the past 2 decades, outbreaks such as severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS), H1N1-2009 influenza, Ebola, Zika virus, and now COVID-19 remind us that infectious diseases are highly unpredictable and can represent a worldwide threat in a short period of time. These outbreaks have also underscored the importance of diagnostic testing, which allows patients with the disease to be rapidly identified and managed effectively. In this session, the role of clinical laboratories and public health in controlling an infectious diseases outbreak will be discussed. Specifically, the session will focus on ways in which clinical laboratorians and public health professionals can partner to more rapidly and effectively respond to novel or emerging health threats. Learn more.

32115 SARS-CoV-2: Virology and Evolving Diagnostic Paradigms

Monday, December 14
11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. U.S. Central Time

Emergence and rapid spread of the novel betacoronavirus, designated as SARS-CoV-2, has created profound medical, economic, societal, and diagnostic challenges globally. This session will discuss the relationship of this virus to other coronaviruses and provide insights as to its structure, function, clinical impact, replication kinetics, transmissibility, and molecular epidemiology.

Accelerated development of tests for the direct and indirect detection of the virus has been critical to slowing down the spread of SARS-CoV-2. This effort has been complicated, however, by the paucity of information related to the virus life cycle, sites of replication, and the nature of the immune response elicited by the virus. This session will review the characteristics and kinetics of specific antibodies triggered by infection and discuss the formats of tests that detect these antibodies. Diagnostic algorithms, utility of serological testing to aid in diagnosis of infection, contact tracing, and epidemiological studies will be presented. Concepts related to the magnitude and persistence of the antibody response and neutralizing antibodies will be covered. Utility of antigen tests for direct detection of specific viral proteins will be illustrated. Finally, key concepts related to sensitivity of viral nucleic acid detection, infectiousness, and diagnostics efficacy will be reviewed. Learn more.

33114 SARS-CoV-2 Vaccine Basics – Current State of Affairs

Tuesday, December 15
11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. U.S. Central Time

This session will provide information on the leading SARS-CoV-2 vaccines in development and will include information on COVID-19, epidemiology, biology, stages of vaccine development, safety oversight of vaccine development, and Operation Warp Speed. Learn more.

34234 Therapeutic Strategies for COVID-19

Wednesday, December 16
2 - 4:30 p.m. U.S. Central Time

As COVID-19 became a global pandemic, healthcare providers scrambled to find therapies that could successfully manage symptoms and combat the novel virus. This session will discuss treatments that did and did not work, including novel and repurposed drugs and convalescent plasma therapy. Additionally, it will highlight the utility of respiratory therapy strategies including intubation, mechanical ventilation, high-flow nasal cannula, and helmet non-invasive ventilation. Learn more.

35113 Clinical Laboratory Direction in the Apocalypse: Responding to the SARS-CoV-2 Pandemic in the First Hotspot in the U.S.

Thursday, December 17
11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

In the Seattle SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, the people are represented by two separate but equally important groups: the clinical virologists who develop tests and the medical laboratory scientists who run them. These are their stories.

This session will describe the experience of the University of Washington clinical laboratory as it rapidly developed its testing and informatics response to SARS-CoV-2 on the leading edge of the pandemic within the first U.S. hotspot. Learn more.

32454 Antibody and Antigen Testing for SARS-CoV-2: Where Are We Now?

Thursday, December 17
2 - 3:30 p.m. U.S. Central Time

The clinical utility of serologic testing for SARS-CoV-2 continues to evolve. This session will provide the latest information regarding the role of antibody testing and the performance characteristics of select assays, and will review appropriate result interpretation and the clinical significance of reported results. Additionally, the speakers will discuss the utility and performance characteristics of antigen detection assays for SARS-CoV-2. Learn more.

Thank You for Making 2020 AACC a Success

Thank you to all of the top-notch speakers, abstract authors, and exhibitors who have shared their innovations and insights at this year’s meeting—as well as the attendees, whose camaraderie and engagement have made this meeting such a success.