Dresden, September 12 - 15, 2023
7th International Consensus on ANA Pattern (ICAP) and Workshop on Harmonization of Autoantibody Detection
Dresden, September 11, 2023
Congress venue: Dresden Fair (Messe Dresden, Messering 6, 01067 Dresden, Germany)

DSA 2023 Congress Information Registration Programme Abstract
Sponsorship and
Industrial Exhibition

DSA History
DSA Archive
Related Events

DSA History


 The 14th Dresden Symposium is the occasion for a short reminiscence: In 1990, we realized the First Dresden Symposium on Autoantibodies, just one week after the re-unification of Germany. Clinicians and scientists from the Eastern and the Western part of Germany, Austria and Luxembourg discussed mainly methodical aspects of autoantibody determinations but also the clinical and pathogenic relevance of autoantibodies. The topics of the Second Symposium in April 1993 dealed mainly with diagnostic aspects. The Third Symposium in September 1996 was a turning point in such a way that we realized the first international meeting with participants from 14 countries. The series of international symposia was not possible without the active help of the co-chairs and members of the international advisory committee as well as the members of national organizing committee. It was a happenstance that the support of three international opinion leaders in the field of autoantibody research, René Luis Humbel (Luxembourg), Eng M. Tan (La Jolla, USA) and Yehuda Shoenfeld (Tel-Hashomer, Israel) led to the successful start and continuation of our international symposia since 1996. Equally, the other co-chairs of the following symposia, Michael Meurer (Dresden, Germany), Marvin Fritzler (Calgary, Canada), Michael Bachmann (Dresden, Germany), Edward K. L. Chan (Gainesville, USA), Allan Wiik (Copenhagen, Denmark), Philipp von Landenberg (Olten, Switzerland), Luis E. C. Andrade (Sao Paulo, Brazil), Pier Luigi Meroni (Milan, Italy), Ger J. M. Pruijn (Nijmegen, The Netherlands), Günter Steiner (Vienna, Austria) had a key role in the organization and in the succes of these meetings.


The "founders" of the international series Dresden Symposia of Autoantibodies. Left: Eng M. Tan, René Louis Humbel and Karsten Conrad in discussion at the 5th Symposium 2000; Right: Yehuda Shoenfeld in action at the 9th Symposium 2009.

Topics and Speakers

The main purpose of the Dresden Symposia is to provide a podium for clinicians and scientists specialised in "autoimmunology" to exchange academic informations and to present and discuss the results of basic and applied research on autoantigens, autoantibodies and autoimmunity. Besides methodical aspects of autoantibody determinations and diagnostic strategies for autoimmune diseases the autoantibody symposia focused on various aspects of the induction, pathogenicity and clinical relevance of autoantibodies. Furthermore, each symposium had its own main focus: Pathogenic idiotypes, silica exposure and autoimmunity (3rd Symposium, 1996); Autoantibodies and tumors (4th Symposium, 1998); Autoantigens - structure, function and role in the pathogenesis of autoimmune diseases (5th Symposium, 2000); From proteomics to molecular epidemiology: Relevance of autoantibodies (6th Symposium, 2002); From animal models to human genetics: Research on the induction and pathogenicity of autoantibodies (7th Symposium, 2004); From etiopathogenesis to the prediction of autoimmune diseases: Relevance of autoantibodies (8th Symposium, 2007); From pathogenesis to therapy  of autoimmune diseases (9th Symposium, 2009). Our anniversary event, the 10th Symposium, 2011 "From Prediction to Prevention of Autoimmune Diseases" concentrated on different aspects of the pathogenesis, the prediction, novel treatment regimes and prevention of systemic and organ specific autoimmune diseases as well as autoimmune graft rejections. The 11th Symposium, 2013 entitled "Infections, Tumors and Autoimmunity" focussed on manifold aspects of autoimmunity in infections and tumors, novel aspects in the pathogenesis of autoimmune diseases, paraneoplastic and tumor associated autoantibodies, autoantibodies in systemic autoimmune rheumatic and neurological diseases, the standardization/harmonizationof autoimmune diagnostics and other methodical aspects of autoantibody testing.
The 12th Symposium in 2015 „From Autoantibody Research to Standardized Diagnostic Assays in the Management of Human Diseases“ concentrates on several aspects of improving autoimmune diagnostics. Topics that are addressed include the International Consensus on ANA Pattern (ICAP) and the International Autoantibody Standardization (IAS) initiatives, the optimization of diagnostic algorithms, the description and evaluation of novel disease-specific autoantibodies as well as the development and introduction of novel assays into routine diagnostics. Furthermore, important developments of the last years, most notably the improvement in diagnosing and predicting the course of rheumatoid arthritis, systemic sclerosis, idiopathic inflammatory myopathies, autoimmune neurological, gastrointestinal and liver diseases, the potential diagnostic relevance of anti-DFS70 antibodies and tumor-associated autoantibodies as well as some hot topics in autoimmunity regarding disease pathogenesis and management have been presented and discussed.

During the symposia the development of important novel diagnostic options (e.g., autoantibodies against tissue transglutaminase, sp100, citrullinated proteins/peptides, gangliosides, ion channel and receptor proteins, DFS70/LEDGF) and methods (e.g., multiplex assays) have been well documented.


Pioneers of autoimmune research. Left: Noel R. Roes in discussion at the 8th Dresden Symposium on Autoantibodies 2007. Right: Walter van Venrooij talking at the 9th Symposium 2009.

Up to now, clinicians and scientists from 44 countries, mainly from Europe and North America, but also from South America, Asia, Australia, New Zealand and North Africa, attended the symposia to present and/or discuss various aspects of the etiopathogenesis, diagnostics and therapy of autoimmune diseases. Among these participants were many young scientists but also pioneers of autoimmunity research. So we are very proud that we could welcome Noel R. Rose, Baltimore, USA (Witebsky-Rose criteria; research on autoimmune thyroid diseases and pathomechanism of autoimmune diseases), Eng M. Tan, La Jolla, USA (1966: discovery of Sm antibodies together with H.G. Kunkel; research on autoantibodies against extractable nuclear antigens among others), Morris Reichlin, Oklahoma City, USA (discovery and research on Ro and La antibodies), Walther van Venrooij, Nijmegen, The Netherlands (autoantibodies against citrullinated proteins/peptides) and Angela Vincent, Oxford, UK (ion channel antibodies), Josep Dalmau, Barcelona, Spain (autoantibodies in encephalitis and paraneoplastic neurological diseases), Kenneth Michael Pollard, La Jolla, USA (environmental factors and autoimmunity), and Jill P. Buyon, New York, USA (congenital heart block) to one or more of our symposia. Equally, we highly appreciate the contributions of all experts, who presented their newest data during the symposia and who are named in the programs of the past symposia published on "Programmes of the past Symposia".


 Co-Chairs since the 6th and 7th Dresden Symposium on Autoantibodies, respectively. Left: Marvin J. Fritzler talking at the 8th Dresden Symposium on Autoantibodies 2007. Right: Edward K.L. Chan in discussion with Henri-André Ménard at the 9th Symposium 2009.


Organisation and Sponsorship

The organisational aspects including cultural programmes of the symposia were performed by Blackwell GCM, Berlin, Germany (1996), Porstmann Kongresse GmbH, Berlin, Germany (1998), P & R Kongress GmbH, Berlin, Germany (2000), and since 2004 by the Association for the Advancement of Immune Diagnostics, Dresden, Germany (founded during the 6th Symposium in 2002). Up to now, more than 50 companies have participated in the industrial exhibitions, among them some that are not existing yet and others that were founded in the past years. Representatively, we would like to mention the following companies which were present eight times or more often at the Dresden symposia: Bio-Rad Laboratories (8); BioSystems S.A., Barcelona, Spain (8 times); Medipan GmbH, Dahlewitz, Germany (9); DLD Diagnostika GmbH, Hamburg, Germany (10); Elias/Pharmacia diagnostics/Phadia GmbH, Freiburg, Germany (10); IMTEC/HUMAN GmbH, Berlin/Wiesbaden, Germany (10); The Binding Site GmbH, Schwetzingen, Germany (10); ORGENTEC Diagnostika GmbH, Mainz, Germany (10); and EUROIMMUN Medizinische Labordiagnostika AG, Lübeck, Germany (13). Furthermore, the Dresden meetings were partially sponsored by the DFG Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (Bonn, Germany) and the Medical Faculty of the Technical University Dresden (Dresden, Germany). Herewith we thank all sponsors that contributed essentially to the success of the past symposia.

Dresden Prize on the Study of Autoantibodies

The Dresden Prize on the Study of Autoantibodies was founded by the Association for the Advancement of Immune Diagnostics to award young scientists up to age 35 for their contribution of outstanding results on the research on autoantibodies presented at the Dresden Symposia on Autoantibodies. The prize of 1000 EUR was awarded for the first time in 2004 at the 7th Dresden Symposium on Autoantibodies to Nikolina Mihailova & Elisaveta Voynova from the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Sofia (Bulgaria). They presented their results on the "Selective suppression of DNA-specific B cells in lupus mice". The second winner at the 8th Symposium (2007) was Joyce van Beers from the Radboud University Nijmegen (The Netherlands) with here results on "The synovial citrullinome of rheumatoid arthritis patients". Her proteomics analyses provided an inventory of synovial proteins in the inflamed joints of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients. Novel citrullinated proteins that may be targeted by the immune system in the synovia of RA patients were identified in synovial fluid samples of RA patients. The winner of the 9th Symposium (2009), Klaartje Somers from the Hasselt University Diepenbeek (Belgium), presented her observations on "Novel autoantibody targets in multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis". By using a cDNA phage display approach, Klaartje Somers et al. identified novel autoantigenic targets of autoantibodies in patients with multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Novel RA-specific autoantibodies that are also present in rheumatoid factor and anti-CCP negative patients with early RA may help to improve early diagnosis, prediction and subtyping of RA.
In the symposia of 2011 and 2013 we had 2 prize winners: In 2011, Mike Becker (Charité, Berlin, Germany) discussing the Role of functional antibodies against vascular receptors in systemic sclerosis and Charlotte Starke (University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Germany) focussing on Autoantibody secreting cells in the nephritic kidneys of lupus prone NZB/W F1 mice are sensitive to bortezomib.
In 2013, Gerson D. Keppeke (Federal University of Sao Paulo, Brazil) with the topic Mycophenolic acid and ribavirin induce cytoplasmic Rods and Rings (RR) structures in vivo, but only ribavirin induces anti-RR autoantibodies and S. John Calise (University of Florida, Gainesville, USA) presenting Effects of intracellular glutamine levels on the reversible assembly of cytoplasmic rod and ring auto antigenic structures.
The winner of the Dresden Prize 2015 (12th Dresden Symposium) was Deborah Kienhoefer (University Hospital Erlangen, Germany) presenting results of the 
impact of oxidative burst on the development of lupus-like autoimmunity. In 2017, the winner of the Dresden Prize was again a young woman: Lydia Noss (Medical Faculty Dresden, Germany) presenting the topic Autoantibodies against glycoprotein 2 isoforms in pediatric inflammatory bowel disease.

Prize Award Ceremony at the 9th Dresden Symposium on Autoantibodies, 2009.

Congress Books and Autoantibody Guides

Since the 4th meeting (1998) special congress books comprising review articles as well as abtracts of the active participants were published at time of the Dresden Symposia. We would like to thank all authors, especially those who presented reviews of highly interesting topics that were also discussed during the meeting. The title of the first congress report was "Pathogenic and diagnostic relevance of autoantibodies" (Pabst Science Publishers, Lengerich 1998). In the following, a special book series termed "Autoimmunity, Autoantigens, Autoantibodies (AAA)" was introduced that includes also Autoantibody Guides presented at the symposia (Contents and exemplary excerpts please see at:

· AAA Vol.1 (2000): Autoantigens and Autoantibodies: Diagnostic Tools and Clues to Understanding Autoimmunity.

· AAA Vol.2 (2002, second edition 2007, third edition 2015): Autoantibodies in Systemic Autoimmune Diseases - A Diagnostic Reference.

· AAA Vol.3 (2002): From Proteomics to Molecular Epidemiology: Relevance of Autoantibodies.

· AAA Vol.4 (2004): From Animal Models to Human Genetics: Research on the Induction and Pathogenicitiy of Autoantibodies.

· AAA Vol.5 (2007): From Etiopathogenesis to the Prediction of Autoimmune Diseases: Relevance of Autoantibodies.

· AAA Vol.6 (2009): From Pathogenesis to Therapy of of Autoimmune Diseases.

· AAA Vol.7 (2011): From Prediction to Prevention of Autoimmune Diseases.

· AAA Vol.8 (2011): Autoantibodies in Organ Specific Autoimmune Diseases - A Diagnostic Reference.

· AAA Vol.9 (2013): Infections, Tumors and Autoimmunity

· AAA Vol.10 (2015): From Autoantibody Research to Standardized Diagnostic Assays in the Management of Human Diseases.

· AAA Vol. 11 (2017): Immunodeficiency, Infection and Autoimmune Diseases

Cultural events

Each scientific meeting was accompanied by a special event regarding culture and traditions of Dresden and Surroundings. The Social Dinner of the 3rd Symposium (the first international one) took place in the historical restaurant "Italienisches Dörfchen" on the Theatre Square, situated between the Semper Opera House, the river Elbe, the Zwinger Museum and the Court Church. At the 4th Symposium we visited "Pfunds Molkerei", the most beautiful milk shop of the world (since 1998 in the Guinness Book of Records). The cultural highlight of the 5th Symposium was the visit of the specialized restaurant "Silberstollen" dedicated to the traditions of mining in Saxony (unfortunately closed since the great flood in 2002). Moritzburg Castle, the hunting lodge and summer residence of August the Strong (1670-1733) near Dresden was the event location of the 6th Symposium. Before the Social Dinner, a guided tour through the baroque museum provided an insight into the largest collection of ornamental leather tapestries in the world, Saxon and French furniture, Oriental and Meissen porcelain, paintings of the 17th and 18th century and the most important collection of hunting trophies in Europe. A guided tour to the Pillnitz Palace and Park and Social Dinner in the historical Orangery of the Pillnitz Palace highlighted the cultural part of the 7th Symposium. Pillnitz Castle, the former summer residence of the Saxon royal court is today the home of the Museum of Decorative Arts. The park deserves closer attention as it combines the strict forms of the baroque period with those of an English landscape garden. Alongside many rare trees the over 200-year-old Japanese camellia is a particular magnet for visitors.

Dancing with countess Cosel at Pillnitz Park.

A Guided tour and Social Dinner in the Meissen Castle were the cultural highlights of the 8th Dresden Symposium. The establishment of the Meissen Castle goes back to the year 929. In 1470, the brilliant master-builder Arnold von Westfalen created a late gothic castle complex, the first palatial castle of ist kind in German building history. Between 1710 and 1863, the castle was the first domicile of the famous Meissen porcelain factory.

Social Dinner at Meissen Castle.

During the 9th Dresden Symposium we organised a guided visit and Social Dinner in the Castle of Weesenstein. Weesenstein Castle in the Müglitztal valley is one of the most beautiful tourist destinations in the surroundings of Dresden. The 700-year-old castle on a rock above the village presents its visitors saxon history from the Middle Ages through to the 19th century. Especially delightful is a walk in the castle gardens.

In 2011, during the 10th Dresden Symposium, we visited the Fortress "Königstein", a unique example of the art of European fortress construction.

The cultural highlight of the 11th Dresden Symposium was the visit of Albrechtsberg Castle, a lovely property in the Dresden vineyards, built by Prince Albrecht of Prussia in 1854.

Social Dinner at Weesenstein Castle.

During the 12th Dresden Symposium (2015) we organised a guided visit of the Dresden Castle or Royal Palace, former residence of the kings of Saxony, today an internationally renowned museum. In 2017 (13th Dresden Symposium on Autoantibodies), we visited the world famous Old Masters Picture Gallery. The following Dinner in the Hilton Hotel was highlighted by the performance of the world champion in fast drawing.

Social Dinner at Dresden Castle.

In the next years we will attempt to continue the successful series of Dresden Symposia on Autoantibodies and we hope to welcome you at the 15th Dresden Symposium on Autoantibodies in September of 2021.