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Polish Journal of Pathology
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vol. 60

World veterinary pathology with a visit to Poland

Józef Szarek
Izabella Babińska
Michał Gesek
Małgorzata Sobczak-Filipiak

Pol J Pathol 2009; 4: 189-192
Online publish date: 2010/01/06
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The Jagiellonian University (JU) in Kraków was visited by over 300 veterinary scientists, mainly veterinary pathomorphologists, from 42 countries. They participated in a Pathology Symposium, the 27th Meeting of the European Society of Veterinary Pathology (ESVP) and European College of Veterinary Pathologists (ECVP), the Annual Meeting of the International Society of Veterinary Dermatopathology (ISVD), and a Clinical Satellite Session “From diagnosis to treatment” of the Oncology Section of the Polish Small Animal Veterinary Association (PSLWMZ), which were held from 7 to 12 September 2009. The events were organised by the Chair of Pathophysiology, Forensic Veterinary Medicine and Administration of the University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn (UWM), with the participation of the Chair of Pathomorphology of JU and the Polish Society of Pathologists. The symposium included eighteen lectures, 44 oral presentations as well as over 250 research papers by about 800 authors and several dozen of the most interesting clinical and pathomorphological cases. Furthermore, nine training sessions, 8 poster tours and two workshops were held.

Why in Kraków?

In 2004, the ESVP congress took place in Olsztyn [1] and it was the first meeting of the society in its history to be held in an Eastern European country [2, 3]. It was an outstanding organisational success and the main reason for choosing the same organisers, headed by Professor Józef Szarek, to organise the 27th meeting of the society in Kraków [4].

Symposium of Pathology

The Symposium of Pathology, organised by the C. L. Davis Foundation – European Division [5], prepared by Professor Alun Williams of the Royal Veterinary College in England, co-organised by the Organising Committee of the 27th Meeting of the ESVP and ECVP from the UWM in Olsztyn, was solemnly inaugurated on 7 September 2009. During two subsequent days of the meeting, 11 lectures were presented by world famous scientists, e.g. Tony Hayes (University of Guelph, Canada) on pathology of the liver, David Argyle (University of Edinburgh, UK) on stem cells and Roderick Else (University of Edinburgh, UK) on cardiovascular pathology. The group also included Krzysztof Bardadin MD, PhD, from Poland, who presented an interesting and topical issue of liver fibrosis.

Opening of the meeting of the ESVP and ECVP

The 27th Meeting of the ESVP and ECVP was held formally together for the first time in their history [1-3, 6, 7]. The opening ceremony took place on 9 September 2009 in the Town Hall of Kraków. It was conducted by Professor Józef Szarek (Chairman of the Organising Committee) and Anna Szczotka, VMD of the National Veterinary Research Institute (Puławy). The honorary seats in the presidium were taken by Dr Seamus Kennedy (Northern Ireland) – Chairman of the ESVP, Professor Lluis Luján (Spain) – Chairman of the ECVP, Professor Judith Nimmo (Australia) – Deputy Chairperson of the ISVD, Professor Andrzej Koncicki – Dean of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of the UWM in Olsztyn, Senator of the Republic of Poland Paweł Klimowicz, and a representative of the President of Kraków, Professor Jacek Majchrowski.
The opening ceremony was attended by many guests, e.g. Dr Tadeusz Jakubowski – President of the Polish Chamber of Veterinary Surgeons, Dr Piotr Żmuda – President of the Chamber of Veterinary Surgeons in Małopolska from Tarnów, Vice-President of this organisation – Lech Pankiewicz, Professor Jerzy Jaroszewski – Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of the UWM in Olsztyn. The majority of the discussion was devoted to the role of veterinary medicine, including pathology, public health care and the site where the congress was held, emphasising the role of Kraków and the congress organisers from Olsztyn and Kraków.

Sessions – training

The training sessions lasted for two subsequent days (10 and 11 September 2009) and were attended by over 300 veterinary surgeons from 42 countries. The view permeating the sessions was that the role of pathology, as it is traditionally understood – diagnosing the morphological changes that result in determination of the causes of deaths – is only secondary. The dominant trend in the science is the care of live animals. A large number of papers addressed the issue of tumour immunopathology. Researchers presented methods of comprehensive and precise tumour diagnosis, depending on their malignancy. The discussion clearly showed the cooperation of pathomorphologists, clinical pathologists and clinicians in the area. The examples discussed in the sessions indicated that the results of pathomorphologists’ work are becoming important tools used by veterinary doctors to care for their patients’ lives and health.
Two workshops were devoted to this view. Professor Verena Alford (USA) and Professor Judith Nimmo (Australia) conducted a session entitled “Dermatopathology mystery slide session”, prepared by the International Society of Dermatopathology [8]. Selected pathological cases of skin conditions in various animal species were discussed. Participants had an opportunity to diagnose the material themselves and then to self-correct during the seminar discussion. Workshops devoted to fish pathology were conducted in a similar manner. They focused mainly on issues relating to cardiac diseases of farmed fish. They were conducted by Professor Trygve Poppe (Norway) and Dr Sven Bergman (Germany) who presented a supplement on viral infections of fish. The meeting participants were very interested in the workshops from, both when the cases were being examined and when the diagnoses were being established.
A particularly high attendance among the meeting participants was recorded at the seven plenary lectures. The one which merits distinction was that given by Professor Chand Khanna, of the National Cancer Institute, USA, entitled “A comparative approach to metastasis biology and therapy”. It discussed the scientific developments in oncogenesis and cancer therapeutic methods. Professor Khanna summarised his lecture with an optimistic statement: “The comparative approach has provided a novel, necessary and informative perspective for the study of cancer biology. The approach exemplifies the value of a veterinary and comparative perspective in the study of complex biomedical problems.” The presentation was awarded a commemorative medal of the Journal of Comparative Pathology.
Other noteworthy lectures were those delivered by Professor John Cullen of the North Carolina State University, USA, on “Liver pathology – what’s new and what’s still true?” and by Professor Sławomir Majewski, of the Medical University of Warsaw, on “The impact of animal papillomavirus research on the development of HPV vaccine”.
The meeting also included 8 sessions with 44 oral presentations and 8 poster seminar tours with 154 poster presentations. The presentations and discussions were devoted to histopathology, ultrastructural pathology, molecular pathology, toxicological pathology, experimental pathology, techniques in pathology and morphological sciences, clinical pathology and toxicological clinical pathology. The three best poster presentations (awarded prizes of euro 300 each), were 1. Ostmeier M., Kerkmann A., Ganter M., Ottmar D., Hewicker-Trautwein M. – Inherted junctional epidermolysis bullosa in German Black Headed Mutton Sheep; 2. Clemente M., Pérez-Alenza D., Illera J.C., Pena L. – Immuno-histochemical study of hormone receptors and angiogenesis in highly malignant canine mammary cancer; and 3. Ballester M., Galindo I., Montoya F., Rodrigues F. – A new rapid and sensible in situ hybridization protocol to detect African Swine Fever Virus.
Some presentations were devoted to transgenic animals. They were delivered hoping that it would be possible to fight tumour effectively or to perform transplants, both in humans and animals. Transgenic animals fulfil the desire to produce more efficient animals with better immunity to diseases.

Cultural events

The very location of the meeting created an opportunity to take a closer look at Kraków, one of the most beautiful cities in Poland. Owing to the honorary patronage of the President of the City of Kraków, the first meeting took place in the palatial scenery of the Kraków Town Hall; the reception lasted till the late hours of the night. The organisers provided participants with an opportunity to see the city’s monuments. One of the attractions was a visit to the salt mine in Wieliczka, where the participants had a ceremonial dinner. The cultural events created a positive atmosphere for discussion.

Exhibitors and sponsors – acknowledgement

When discussing the visit of the world famous veterinary pathologists to Kraków, one must express gratitude to i-Path Diagnostics Ltd from Northern Ireland for its attendance and extensive product range [9]. We also extend heartfelt thanks to the sponsors – the Polish Chamber of Veterinary Surgeons, the Chamber of Veterinary Surgeons in Małopolska, AstraZeneca [10], the Polish Academy of Sciences, the Journal of Comparative Pathology [11], the Journal of Elementology [12], the Polish Journal of Pathology [13], the Polish Journal of Veterinary Sciences [14] and all those who contributed to the event.

The achievements of the meeting

The meeting of world veterinary pathology in Kraków resulted in the publishing of the lectures and scientific announcements – as a book and a CD – entitled “Pathology Today”, edited by J. Babińska, J. Szarek and M. Gesek, and the publishing of the abstracts in the Journal of Comparative Pathology. It should be emphasised that the meeting was educational in nature. Throughout the convention, its participants could observe interesting cases under a microscope, give diagnoses and have them challenged during discussions. 8 poster seminar tours and two workshops also had a high educational value. Moreover, the convention in Kraków can be said to have been a great discussion forum with contacts between the participants facilitated by the mailing list.
Now that the meetings of ESVP, ECVP, ISVD, Pathology Symposium and PSLWMZ in Kraków are history, one can say that they are positively remembered by the scientists who took part in them. This point is emphasised in numerous e-mails received complimenting the outstanding organisation and the beauty of Kraków and its surroundings. Many of the authors also expressed a desire to come to Poland again. The history of the meetings (with a Photo Gallery) is presented (and updated) on the website: everyone is welcome to go there and view it [4].

You are warmly welcome to attend the next ESVP and ECVP meetings

The next meetings of the ESVP and ECVP will be held in Belgrade (08-11.09.2010), e-mail esvp2010@savacentar.net [15], Uppsala (2011), Leon (2012) and Venice (2013).

1. http://www.uwm.edu.pl/esvp/
2. Szarek J, Lipińska J, Babińska I, et al. International meetings of veterinary pathologists in Olsztyn. Pol J Pathol 2005; 56: 103-104.
3. Szarek J, Sobczak-Filipiak M. Europejskie Towarzystwo Patologii Weterynaryjnej - European Society of Veterinary Pathology. Medycyna Wet 2004, 60: 662 - 663.
4. http://www.esvp.pl
5. http://www.eurocldavis.net
6. http://www.ecvpath.org
7. http://www.esvp.eu
8. http://www.intsocdermpath.org
9. http://www.i-path.co.uk
10. http://www.astrazeneca.com
11. http://www.elsevier.com
12. http://www.uwm.edu.pl/jelementol/
13. http://www.poljpathol.cm-uj.krakow.pl
14. http://www.uvm.edu.pl/pjvsci/
15. http://www.esvp2010.org
16. http://www.elset.pl

Address for correspondence
Józef Szarek MD, PhD

Chair of Pathophysiology, Forensic Veterinary Medicine and Administration, University
of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn
ul. Oczapowskiego 13
10-719 Olsztyn
phone/fax +48 89 523 32 52
e-mail: szarek@uwm.edu.pl
Copyright: © 2010 Polish Association of Pathologists and the Polish Branch of the International Academy of Pathology This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0) License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0/), allowing third parties to copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format and to remix, transform, and build upon the material, provided the original work is properly cited and states its license.
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