The International Organization for Mycoplasmatology
(IOM) held the

18th International Congress
in Chianciano Terme, Italy - July 11-16, 2010
In association with the IPWG

Every two years the IOM organises an International Congress to bring together a diverse and active international scientific community of researchers, diagnosticians and students to present and discuss topics covering all aspects of mycoplasmology. This includes: mycoplasma, phytoplasma, ureaplasma, acholeplasma, haemoplasma and spiroplasma species; their hosts; research on these organisms; their disease characteristics; their effects; transmission; control; as well as diagnostic and research methods.

The congress is organised into three main symposiums and as many as seven seminars along with poster sessions and additional specialist team meetings of the IOM standing committee of the International Research Programme on Comparative Mycoplasmology (IRPCM). In addition the congress includes the meeting and report of the International Committee on Systematics of Prokaryotes subcommittee on the taxonomy of Mollicutes. Undoubtedly, this congress presents a unique opportunity for mycoplasmologists from all parts of the world to disseminate knowledge, fertilise ideas, develop collaborations and establish and renew friendships in this specialised scientific field.

The IOM has always encouraged student attendance at IOM congresses and has financially supported students to attend it congresses through travel awards and subsidised congress fees. A feature that was re-introduced at the last congress was an additional Mycoplasma Techniques workshop/training course which was extremely well received by all who attended which included students and experienced scientists. It is planned to include a similar workshop as an addition to this congress.

Previous IOM meetings were held in Cambridge (UK) in 2006 where 34 countries were represented and Tianjin (China) in 2008 where 36 countries were represented. The organiser of the 18th IOM Congress is specifically encouraging participation of delegates from the Eastern European Countries. The organiser of this congress previously organised a very successful conference on phytoplasmas and this, along with the new Robert Whitcomb award is likely to attract special interest and higher attendance from scientists with specific interest in the plant infecting mycoplasmas (phytoplasmas).

Alain Blanchard       Assunta Bertaccini
IOM Chair               Chair of the 2010 IOM International Congress