The headline-grabbing enterovirus D68 is expected to be a hot topic at this year’s American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) 2014 National Conference and Exhibition. Organizers anticipate that 14,000 participants will attend, including 8500 pediatricians.

The conference received close to 2000 research abstracts and accepted 819, many of them about personalized medicine and neonatal infectious diseases.

In recent weeks, the pediatric community has been shaken by news of enterovirus outbreaks in the United States. The virus has been linked to at least 4 deaths, and severe respiratory symptoms have been triggered in some children. More worrying, there are reports in Denver of children with muscle weakness and other paralysis-like symptoms, some of whom tested positive for enterovirus D68. That finding raises the specter that the virus could lead to a syndrome similar to that caused by its relative, the polio virus.

In the neonatal area, research will be presented on new forms of mechanical ventilation and other respiratory support. Infectious diseases, like respiratory syncytial virus, hepatitis C, and herpes simplex virus, continue to be a challenge, as is the treatment of gastroesophageal reflux and retinopathy in premature infants.

Other talks will focus on recently updated guidelines. In July, the AAP changed its recommendation for immunoprophylaxis with palivizumab in infants and young children at high risk for respiratory syncytial virus (Pediatrics. 2014;134:415-420).