Secret Minutes of the 16th Symposium of the Collegium Internationale Allergologicum in Göteborg, Sweden in August 1986
GEOFFREY B. WEST
For the 16th Meeting of the CIA, we visited Göteborg, a very important port on the west coast of Sweden, at the kind invitation of Dr. Lars Hanson. The meeting was held in honour of Paul Kallós, one of the CIA founding members. Over 160 attended and we were accommodated at the Park Avenue and Liseberg Heden Hotels. The weather on the whole was reasonable.
May I tell you a secret which you may not know. Vice-President and President-Elect Sehon arrived on Sunday with his wife but alas without pyjamas! For some reason, one of his cases was delayed en route from Canada. Naturally, as you would expect, many CIA members, both male and female, rushed to his aid with offers for the night.
After a highly successful welcome reception at the Art Museum, with the City of Góteborg as hosts, we got down to work on Monday, August 18th. All the "Introductory Remarks" told us of Paul Kallós - a man full of scientific curiosity and a scientific mentor full of integrity and quality. The Carl Prausnitz Memorial Lecture followed and was presented by Dr. Ouchterlony, with the topic - "Immunoprecipitation in Court - the Chamberlain Case". This was rather an unusual lecture for us allergists and immunologists but the theme was important. A description of the dingo case in Australia and all its implications to science and jurisprudence was well presented and we learned that scientific proof of a problem is not the end of a story in every case. In fact, in the case cited, it certainly was still on-going. Thank you, Dr. Ouchterlony, for giving us such a frank outline of how your discovery many years earlier of double-diffusion techniques for identifying proteins and other substances had been used in the dingo versus human case.
The rest of the morning was set aside to "Immune-related Cellular Responses in Mucosal Membranes". In the first period, there were two chairmen (Enerbäck and Bienenstock) who each gave a review and there was only time for one other speaker. This was (a little) unique as the programme only had one chairman for two-thirds of the meeting. The second period was on "Macrophages and Thrombocytes". Statements on this morning were:
Later in the afternoon, we discussed "Basophils and Eosinophils" and great interest was shown in these presentations. Finally, a poster workshop on "Mast Cells and Thrombocytes" finished the day. During this poster period, we heard about an old folk remedy using onions. Wasp stings in Bavaria are suppressed by onion extracts and further work is needed. The author was asked about garlic extracts and he replied that he had done some work with garlic but so many of his staff left the laboratory that he now uses and concentrates on onions. He has called it the "Great Onion Cocktail Experiment".
Our Biennial Assembly Meeting took place at 6.15 and it was exciting as many changes in our ruling body were to take place. A new secretary and a new president as well as 22 new members were elected. It was great to know we now have many names in the pipeline waiting to be elected members.
Monday evening was a free time and many visited the sights of Göteborg. The ladies had had a guided tour of the city earlier in the day and visited old-fashioned shops in Krohuset.
On Tuesday (up early again for an 8 o’clock start), it was "Goblet cells and the Role of Mucus in Defence of Host Tissues", followed by "Neurotransmitters and Immune Reactivity". We heard that the area of redness in the skin after intradermal injection can be measured by a blind observer! We also heard that there was nothing remarkable in two of the author’s slides except dirt on the transparencies. The old stimulate - capsaicin - rose its head again to help workers produce sensory nerve degeneration. The morning finished with a working lunch and another poster workshop. During this session, we were told >it’s a trick - you have to know your culture and its components - some like growth factor have to be added at the right moment for maximum effect! Also our old friend Hamburger peptide returned to the fray.
Late on Tuesday afternoon, it was excursion time. And what a time it was! The old steamer BOHUSLÄN took us through the Archipelago of Göteborg. On the way, refreshments were served - well, not exactly - when 150 people try to go down to the kitchen and serve themselves from a small table, anything can happen and it did. But we all enjoyed the food and drink. During this part of the trip, the ladies each received both a lovely CIA-engraved sweater and a lovely large umbrella, also suitable engraved. We arrived at the Island of Marstand and a traditional Swedish August Celebration was waiting for us. The Medical Students Band and female Ballet Girls met us on the QUAY and led us to the Society’s House. What a fine lot of guys and dolls they were! Supper consisted of crayfish, boiled an served with bread, butter and cheese flavoured with cummin. Swedish Shnaps completed the evening. Then we were treated to songs from Sven-Bertil Taube, a famous concert artist. We enjoyed this much and the witching hour of 11.30 came much too quickly. Some of us got to the ferry early and it moved off leaving most behind. However, every 10 minutes the crossing is made so the remainder of the party were not left on the island. We all came home by bus but what a memorable day!
Back to work again on Wednesday for a "Round Table Discussion" on "Regulation of IgE-mediated Disorders" and later "Occupational Allergies". One author told us that he must hurry up as the next speaker has to catch a plane home as his wife had just gone into labour. Yet another said he never made mistakes. We had full houses and learned how cyclophosphamide converts NR to R. The way forward seems to be cortisone, lipooxygenase inhibitors or cyclosporine.
Wednesday evening was the banquet in honour of Paul Kallós. After a super meal of Galantine of Salmon, Saddle of prime Lamb and Almond Basket, the speeches poured in the achievements and guiding of Paul, ably supported by Liselotte. We toasted, we rose in our seats, and we clapped. A quartet of musicians played baroque pieces (a favourite of Paul) and Paul received the gifts. He was so pleased with it all and his speech was clear and concise. Then the new members were displayed, a Japanese choir sang, and the red roses were given. Alec Sehon became president and the Secret Minutes were read by the new historian. All in all, a magnificent night to honour the great man.
On Thursday, it was "New Advances in Immunopharmacology of Allergic Disease". This super morning was well supported, the going was fast and furious, and discussion was comprehensive.
And so another CIA meeting came to a close. Sincere thanks go to the organisers, particularly Drs. Lindholm and Hanson. We saluted them and long may their work continue in the allergy field.