It is our pleasure to invite you to the 5th biennial “How Dead is Dead?” conference, to be hosted at the Medical University of Vienna. This international conference series points to the difficulties of defining and proving the borders of bacterial life and death, and the consequences of these problems as regards its relevance for human and animal health but also for the functioning of technical and natural ecosystems.
Important questions arising are:
• How can the status of viable but non-culturable (VBNC) cells, persisters, sleepers, etc. be described?
• Are bacteria that cannot grow (anymore) on standard media dead and non-hazardous?
• How can they be detected?
• Which cellular mechanisms allow them to cope with a variety of stress conditions?
• Which relevance do they have for health, technological processes and ecosystems?
In the last years this conference series has contributed to a larger awareness of these issues in a variety of research and applied fields like microbiology, medicine, veterinary medicine, ecology, food science, etc.
In this tradition the 5th biennial “How Dead is Dead?” conference shall:
1. draw attention to this so far neglected aspects of bacterial life,
2. offer the possibility of discussions on latest research results within the international scientific community and
3. stimulate an intensive exchange of ideas with industrial partners, who offer innovative technical approaches for the detection of bacterial viability.
We are looking forward to welcoming you in Vienna!