The History of InFORM

The first InFORM Conference was held in 2013, following years of separate laboratory and epidemiology meetings. Since 2013, a national InFORM conference has been held every other year, with smaller Regional Meetings in the intervening years. These InFORM Regional Meetings are a platform to discuss strategic goals and exchange expertise between the larger national InFORM Conferences and provide a unique forum for discussing region-specific topics and activities. Each year, both the InFORM Regional Meetings and national InFORM Conference have seen increased participation from all the disciplines, which is integral to efficient and successful detection and investigations of enteric disease outbreaks of national significance.    

  

In 2020, the InFORM conference was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but the plenary and keynote sessions were held later in the year as webinars. The first fully virtual InFORM Regional Meetings were held in April 2021. The virtual meetings drew over 1400 registrants with over 700 people attending joint plenary sessions. Participants discussed challenges and model practices for enteric disease surveillance and outbreak investigations, including the transition to whole genome sequencing, key prevention priorities, and the impacts of COVID-19 on enteric disease.