Scientific Program

Day 1

Day 2

Day 1

  • Controlling Vectors and Hosts of Schistosomes in Lake Mala?i.

    Penn State College Of Agriculture Sciences

    Jay Stauffer received his BS from Cornell University in 1972 and completed his Ph.D from Virginia polytechnic institute and state university in 1975.From April 1975 until June1984 he was an assistance professor for Appalachian Environmental Laboratory, Center for Environmental and Estuarine Studies at the University of Maryland. From July 1984, he has been with the Penn State School of Forest Resources, first as an Associate Professor of Fishery Science from July 1984 to June 1988. Then as a Professor of Ichthyology from July 1988 until December 2005 and now as a Distinguished Professor of Ichthyology. He acts as an editor and session chairman for American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists Annual Meeting at Penn State which is held in June 2001.He has published nearly 250 articles.Dr.Stauffer had received Phi sigma award in 1974 for outstanding graduate research in the biological sciences at VPI & SU.In 1974 he had received sigma Xi award for outstanding graduate students and promoting scholarly achievement. In 1990 he had also received an Fulbright Research Scholar award. Professor Stauffer is certified as a Professional Fisheries Biologist by the American Fisheries Society. He is also a member of the American Institute of Fishery Research Biologists. He had published many articles including the River of the Dammed: Longitudinal changes in fish assemblages in response to dams" with Jonathan Freedman, B. D. Lorson, R.B. Taylor, R. F. Carline, J.R. Stauffer, "Introgression in Lake Mala?i: Increasing the Threat of Human Urogenital Schistosomiasis?" with Jay R Stauffer, Henry Madsen, David Rollinson. "Prey species and size choice of the molluscivorous fish, black carp (Mylopharyngodon piceus)" N. M. Hung, J. R. Stauffer, H. Madsen


    Schistosomiasis is a parasitic disease of major public health importance in many countries in Africa, Asia, and South America. The disease is caused by trematodes of the genus Schistosoma that require specific freshwater snail species to complete their life cycles (Fig. 1). Prior to 1985, the open waters of Lake Mala?i were free from schistosome transmission. Over the past decades, however, the prevalence of urinary schistosomiasis has increased dramatically in the southern part of the lake. We found the prevalence of human schistosomiasis in school-aged children to be negatively correlated with the density of molluscivorous fishes. Specifically, the increase in infection rate in southern Lake Mala?i between 1978 and 1991 is coincident with the reduction in numbers of snail-eating fishes. During 2003, we determined the relative abundance of molluscivorous fishes and snail density at 18 sites throughout the lake, and schistosome infection in school-aged children living in selected lake shore communities of Lake Mala?i. At the 18 sites sampled in 2003, we found that snail abundance decreased with an increase in abundance of snail-eating fishes. Furthermore, the 2003 samples showed that the abundance of snail-eating fishes increased and there was a reduction in schistosomiasis in school-aged children in Chembe Village. We believe that we will not observe a return to the 1978 infection rates until these fishes continue to increase and inhabit shallower waters. The transmission of the disease may be further complicated. We postulated that a strain of S. haematobium from other parts of Africa, which was introduced into the Cape Maclear region of Lake Mala?i by tourists, was compatible with Bulinus nyassanus—which is a close relative of B. truncatus, and interbred with the indigenous strain of S. haematobium, which ultimately produced via introgression a strain that can use both B. globosus and B. nyassanus as intermediate hosts. This actively evolving situation involving intermediate snail–host switching and decline of Trematocranus placodon, a natural cichlid snail predator, will impact on transmission of urogenital schistosomiasis within the local communities and on tourists who visit Lake Mala?i.

  • Vector control strategies in the framework of the fight against emerging arboviruses: the example of Aedes albopictus management in Spanish Mediterranean cities

    Laboratorios Lokímica

    Dr. Rubén Bueno-Marí finished his PhD in 2010 in the University of Valencia (Spain) and obtained the Special Doctorate Award in the field of Natural Sciences two years later. He is an active member of several scientific associations at national and international level, highlighting his role as member of the Board of the European Mosquito Control Association (EMCA). He also collaborates with several scientific journals as member of the Editorial Board, is an expert advisor of the Iberoamerican Society of Scientific Information (SIIC) and has published more than 60 scientific publications in journals related with the fields of medical and veterinary entomology, applied zoology and public health. He currently cooperates with several universities and other academic institutions in superior teaching issues related with his field of expertise (medical entomology, vector control and vector-borne diseases) and is the head of the Department of Research and Development (R+D) of a leading company in environmental health called Laboratorios Lokímica".


    Mosquitoes are considered as the most dangerous ectoparasites of the world. The ubiquity of these insects, intense haematophagic behavior of females, high bioecological plasticity of many species and the role as vectors of a great variety of pathogens, has made this animal group a serious Public Health hazard for Centuries. Nowadays the Asian tiger mosquito, Aedes albopcitus, is probably one of the best exponents of this concern. This invasive species recently detected in the last decades in new continents such as America, Africa, Oceania and Europe, is a potential vector of several arboviruses like Dengue (DENV), Zika (ZIKV) or Chikungunya (CHIKV) in urban and periurban environments. These viruses are currently emerging worldwide, especially in tropical and temperate regions where vectors are capable of proliferating and reach high population densities. In Spain, the species was first collected in 2004 and currently is well distributed across the Mediterranean fringe. It is well established in some of the most important cities of the country like Barcelona, Valencia and Murcia, among others. Simultaneously in Spain DENV, ZIKV and CHIKV are diseases frequently imported by tourists and immigrants infected in endemic countries. This context of increasing incidence and spread of potential local vectors, high infection rates of these arboviruses in tropical countries and globalization, that facilitates quick and continuous human movements all over the world, has motivated the Spanish Ministry of Health to declare DENV, ZIKV and CHIKV as priority notifiable diseases in our country. Our presentation is focused on how this conjunction of epidemiological and entomological issues are approached based on integrative vector control strategies. The entomological interventions surrounding imported cases of DENV, ZIKV and CHIKV in order to evaluate (surveillance-monitoring) and minimize (control) the risk of disease amplification at local scale will be a mandatory topic for all public administrations involved in Municipal Public Health during next years.

  • Urgency for appropriate preventives to abolish Coccidiosis and Toxoplasmosis endemic: Never ending dilemma and possible alternatives.

    UK Medical Center,USA
    United Kingdom

    Dr Helieh S. Oz has DVM, and MS (U. IL); PhD (U. MN) and clinical translational research certificate (U. KY Med Center). Dr Oz is an active member of American Association of Gastroenterology (AGA) and AGA Fellow (AGAF). Dr Oz is Microbiologist scientist with expertise in infectious and inflammatory diseases, drug discoveries, pathogenesis, innate and mucosal Immunity, molecular biology, and micronutrient. Dr Oz has over 90 publications in areas of chronic inflammatory disorders (e.g. pancreatitis, hepatitis, colitis), microbial and infectious diseases (e.g. Toxoplasmosis, Trypanosomasis, Babesiosis, Coccidiosis, Pneumocystis pneumonia). She has served as Lead editor for special issues including Gut Inflammatory, Infectious diseases and Nutrition 2017 (Mediators of Inflammation); Nutrients, Infectious and Inflammatory Diseases 2017 (Nutrients); Gastrointestinal Inflammation and Repair: Role of Microbiome, Infection, Nutrition 2016 (Gastroenterology Research Practice), and co-editor for Parasitic infections in pediatric clinical practice 2017 (J Pediatric Infectious Disease), Chagas Disease, Intech Open Science 2017 and member of different advisory committees.


    Apicomplexan are sophisticated cosmopolitan organisms to include Toxoplasma and Coccidia which cause important infectious foodborne diseases in humans and animals. Toxoplasma is ubiquitous and invades every nucleated cells and organs with severe life threatening systemic inflammation in fetal, neonatal and immune-compromised individuals. Coccidias are highly host specific mainly lodge in gut mucosa and compromise immune system to trigger gastrointestinal inflammatory complications and infectious diarrhea. Similarly, Toxoplasma sexual stage is specific in defensive host to cat gut mucosa, with coccidian life cycle. Over century after their discovery, yet there is no safe and effective preventive measure or vaccines available. Coccidosis is one of the most important communicable pathogenic diseases resulting in morbidity and mortality in food animal industry. The common practice includes the use of antibiotic additives in poultry and livestock diets which contaminate eggs, milk, bones and meat production. Antibiotics can enter the food chain and consumed by humans with possible allergic, antibiotic resistance, and other yet unknown side effects. For instance, robust and balance gut microbiota are required to support health and growth. Application of continuous antibiotics can alter this delicate balance in digestive tract to promote dysbiosis and the state of disease. The annual cost of coccidiosis in poultry production alone has been estimated $800 million in USA. There is an urgent need for appropriate preventives to abolish Coccidiosis and Toxoplasmosis endemic. This workshop presentation will scrutinize Toxoplasmosis and Coccidiosis and novel therapeutics and possible preventive modalities including altered aberrant organisms which are proven nonpathogenic in immunosuppressed yet immunogenic in immune-intact animals as a model to protect against the infectious disease.

Day 2

  • Movement ecology of rats of the genus Rattus and global distribution of rat-associated Bartonella species

    Oklahoma Center for Neuroscience

    Michael Kosoy is a Research Biologist and the Chief of Bartonella and Rodent-Borne Diseases Laboratory at the Division of Vector-Borne Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). He is the Author or Co-author of >150 publications in the areas of ecology, evolution, zoology, microbiology, and epidemiology of infectious diseases. He has worked for many years in the area of ecology and epidemiology of zoonotic and vector-borne diseases. His international activities included, but not limited to P R China, Thailand, Vietnam, Kazakhstan, Georgia (Caucasus), Japan, Israel, Russia, Kosovo, Kenya, D R Congo, Peru, and Guatemala. His main research interests include disease ecology, evolution of pathogens, wildlife diseases, One Health movement, bioethics and transdisciplinarity.


    Statement of the Problem: Animal movement resulting from intentional or unintentional human activity can introduce pathogens into new geographic areas. The objective of this study focuses on introduction of zoonotic agents via invasive rat species (Rattus norvegicus and R. rattus) to the US seaports from other continents. The bacterial zoonotic pathogens associated with commensal rats include several species of Bartonella. Methodology & Theoretical Orientation: To conduct the proposed study, rat blood, tissue and ectoparasite samples were collected in Thailand, Vietnam, Madagascar, and several cities in the USA and Canada. Bacteria were cultured on agar supplemented with rabbit blood. Bartonella spp. were identified by sequence analysis of amplified fragments of 3-5 house-keeping genes. Findings: The investigations have demonstrated that rats harbor Bartonella spp., most of which are clustered into a defined phylogenetic lineage that can be sub-divided further into a number of sub-clusters. This group was defined as B. elizabethae species complex. In Thailand, Bartonella was cultured from rats of eight Rattus spp. and the strains belonged to >20 genetic variants. Some of these Bartonella spp. were also identified in the USA seaports. The genetic diversity of Bartonella spp. found in rats in the US cities was significantly lower than in Asia where these species are highly prevalent and extremely diverse. Conclusion & Significance: The data suggest that some Bartonella spp., being evolutionary and ecologically associated with rats of the genus Rattus, have been dispersed from Asia to seaports around the globe where these bacteria have become established among domestic rats. The finding of Bartonella spp. in a high proportion of rats from around the globe suggests the need to investigate whether these agents might be responsible for cases of human pathology, especially in countries where Bartonella-infected rats arrive from Asian seaports. Recent Publications: 1.Kosoy M and Kosoy R (2017) Complexity and biosemiotics in evolutionary ecology of zoonotic infectious agents. Evolutionary Applications. DOI:10.1111/eva.12503. 2.Brook C et al., (2017) Elucidating transmission dynamics and host-parasite-vector relationships for rodent-borne Bartonella spp. in Madagascar. Epidemics. 3.Kandelaki G et al., (2016) Human lymphadenopathy caused by rat-borne Bartonella, Tbilisi, Georgia. Emerging Infectious Diseases. 22: 544-546. 4.Kosoy M et al., (2015) Aboriginal and invasive rats of genus Rattus as hosts of infectious agents. Vector-Borne Zoonotic Diseases. 15: 3-12. 5.Himsworth C et al., (2015) An investigation of Bartonella spp., Rickettsia typhi, and Seoul Hantavirus in rats (Rattus spp.) from an inner-city neighborhood of Vancouver, Canada: Is pathogen presence a reflection of global and local rat population structure? Vector-Borne Zoonotic Diseases. 15: 21-26.

  • Ostertagiosis and Ostertagia ostertagi interactions with the bovine host

    Animal Parasitic Diseases Laboratory, USDA/ARS

    Wenbin Tuo has expertise in protozoan and nematode parasite infectious diseases in livestock species. He has devoted his professional career to understanding host-parasite interactions and development of immunologic control measures for parasitic infections in large ruminants. Vaccine candidates identified by antigen-specific CD4 T cells and parasitic immune modulators that are able to cross-downregulate host protective immunity have been tested in numerous vaccine trials and some of the vaccines have been demonstrated to have significant protective efficacies. His ongoing research involves continued investigation of interplays between the parasites and hosts and identification and testing of protective candidate vaccines in ruminants.


    Statement of the Problem: Parasitic nematodes are able to cross-regulate host immunity, evade immune surveillance, favoring their own survival. This is in part accomplished by producing bioactive molecules possessing potent immunoregulatory roles. Ostertagia ostertagi is a nematode parasite specifically infecting the gastric glands of the abomasum (4th stomach) of cattle. This most important parasite is highly prevalent in temperate regions worldwide and causes sustained production losses to the cattle industry. Gastrointestinal parasite control heavily relies on the use of anthelmintics; however, drug resistance is rapidly emerging and requires development of alternatives to drug control. Methodology & Theoretical Orientation: Parasitic immune modulators were investigated by homologue search in the parasitic transcriptome and molecularly cloned/expressed/purified, and functionally characterized. Findings: Upon infection with O. ostertagi, significant immune responses were readily detectable in the abomasum and its draining lymph nodes as early as day 3 post infection. However, host resistance to infection was not generated until after repeated infections. A number of parasitic immune modulators such as macrophage migration inhibitory facto (MIF) and annexins were identified some of those were developmentally regulated and possessed active functions cross-regulating bovine host immune responses. Results suggested that immunosuppression mediated by parasitic immune modulators may be a mechanism by which the parasite evades host protective immunity. Conclusion & Significance: Investigation of the host-parasite interaction, particularly immunomodulation mediated by parasitic-derived immune modulators, will aid in further understanding host-parasite interactions, host response to infection and parasite evasion, and facilitate the development of immunological control measures. Recent publications: 1.Sharma P, Jenkins M, Zarlenga D, Fetterer R, Xiao Z and Tuo W (2017) Characterization of Ostertagia ostertagi annexin-like proteins at different developmental stages. Parasitology Research. 116: 1515-1522. 2.Tuo W, Li L, Lv Y, Carrillo J, Brown D, Davis WC, Song J, Zarlenga D and Xiao Z (2016) Abomasal mucosal immune responses of cattle with limited or continuous exposure to pasture-borne gastrointestinal nematode parasite infection. Veterinary Parasitology. 229: 118-125. 3.Zarlenga D S, Hoberg E P and Tuo W (2016) The Identification of Haemonchus Species and Diagnosis of Haemonchosis. Advances in Parasitology. 93: 145-80. 4.Tuo W, Zarlenga D S, Hebert D A, Miramontes E N and Fetterer R H (2015) A two-step method to purify Ostertagia ostertagi eggs from feces: sucrose flotation followed by density gradient centrifugation using lymphocyte separation medium. Comparative Parasitology. 82: 275-279. 5.Qu G, Fetterer R, Leng L, Du X, Zarlenga D, Shen Z, Han W, Bucala R and Tuo W (2014) Ostertagia ostertagi macrophage migration inhibitory factor is present in all developmental stages and may cross-regulate host functions through interaction with the host receptor. International Journal of Parasitology. 44: 355-67.

  • Deciphering the participation of Anopheline species in the transmission of Plasmodium vivax in Mexico

    National Institute of Public Health

    Lilia Gonzalez-Ceron is a Parasitologists and Principal Researcher at the Regional Centre of Research in Public Health, National Institute of Public Health, Chiapas, Mexico. She Completed her Bachelors in Microbiology, National School of Biological Sciences of the National Polytechnics Institute, ENCB- IPN (1986) and MSc in Medical Parasitology from University of London (1991) and PhD from Centre of Research and Advance Studies, IPN (1998) in Mexico D.F.. Scholarships of the programme TDR-OMS/Geneva.She has been working with P. vivax malaria since 1986s, and has been involved in epidemiological studies, vector-parasite interactions, diagnosis and treatment. Also, she is interested in the evolutionary genetics of P. vivax in Mexico and its transmission dynamics.


    Statement of the Problem: Malaria is a public health problem in tropical and subtropical regions of the world. In most Mexican territory, P. vivax transmission has been historical and remains in some malarious foci along the pacific coast and in the southern region, while P. falciparum was eliminated about eight years ago. In order to contribute to malaria control and elimination in the region, in southern Mexico we carried out several studies to discover vector and parasite factors involved in the P. vivax transmission. The purpose of this study was to investigate P. vivax genetic variation, and vector susceptibility, to identify vector-parasite factors favouring P. vivax transmission. Methodology & Theoretical Orientation: The most abundant Anopheline vector species of different sites from Mexico were inbred under insectary conditions. P. vivax infected blood obtained from patients living in southern Mexico was used to test the mosquito susceptibility. The number of mosquitoes infected with oocyst and the number of oocysts per mosquito were recorded per colony and per mosquito species. Parasite genotype was determined and its association to vector susceptibility was analyzed. Findings: The data exposed different P. vivax genotypes in southern Mexico that produced different degree of oocyst infection in An. albimanus and/or An. pseudopunctipennis, and An. punctipennis. Moreover, there were different colonies of two Anopheline species from distant geographic sites that showed similar susceptibility to southern parasites. Conclusion & Significance: The findings suggest that P. vivax in southern Mexico comprises strains with different compatibility to the local Anopheline species. These mosquito vectors are distributed across the country and likely to be capable of sustaining malaria transmission. On the other hand, the genetic pool of malaria parasites seem reduced to few genotypes, those more adapted to local vector species.

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