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6TH MERIAL SYMPOSIUM
Arthropod-Borne Diseases : NEW CAHLLENGES for Europe and the Mediterranean Basin

Hotel Concorde “les Berges du lac” Tunis – 9-11th April 2008

CONTENT

Symposium scientific program

Press release

Abstract book

Speaker bios

Scientific Program
Wednesday April 9th, 2008
Before 12:00- Arrival of attendees 12:00 - 14:00 Welcome lunch buffet 14:15-14:30 Frederic BEUGNET (Merial, Lyon, France) Introduction 14:30 – 15:30

Harilaos Loukos (CEO/CSO Climpact, Paris, France)
Global Warming – Global effects and local impacts? 15:30 – 16:15 Laura RINALDI (Veterinary University, Napoli, Italy) Disease Mapping in Veterinary Parasitology: Methodology and Examples of Vector-Borne Diseases, (Heartworm Focus) 16:15 – 16:45: Break 16:45 – 17:30 Guy HENDRICKX (Avia-Gis, Zoersel, Belgium) Epidemiology of Blue Tongue Virus Infection – Situation in Europe 17:30 – 18:15 Ahmed CHABCHOUB and Ali BOUATTOUR (Veterinary Faculty, Sidi-Tabet, Tunisia) Vectorial Diseases of Pets & Horses: Situation in North Africa 20:00 – Dinner at the hotel

Thursday April 10th, 2008
9:15-9:45 Kurt PFISTER (Veterinary Faculty, Münich, Germany) Evolution of Canine Babesiosis and Granulocytic Anaplasmosis in Western and Central Europe 9:50 – 10:20 Guadalupe MIRO (Veterinary Faculty, Madrid, Spain) Canine leishmaniosis in Europe: is everything under control? 10:25 – 10:55 Allal DAKKAK (Veterinary Faculty, Rabat, Morocco) Is the spreading of canine leishmaniasis in Morocco due to the economic, demographic and environmental changes? 10:55 – 11:15: Break Page 2 of 24

11:15 – 11:45 Pascal DELAUNAY (Human parasitology and Exotic Diseases, Nice hospital, France) Risk of new human exotic diseases in Europe – Example of Aedes albopictus 11:45 – 12:15 Khalid KHALLAAYOUNE (Veterinary Faculty, Rabat, Morocco) Modifications of epidemiology of sheep and goat ectoparasitosis in Maghreb: case of Wohlfahrtia magnifica myiasis ; case of flea infestations. 12:15 – 12:45 Frédéric BEUGNET “FleaTickRisk”: A New Climatic Model to Study Arthropod Infestation 14:45 – 14:30 - Buffet Lunch at the hotel 14:30: Departure for Sidi-Bou Saïd 18:00: Return to the hotel Evening - « Gala Dinner »

Friday April 11th, 2008
9:15 - 09:45 Jean-Lou MARIE et Bernard DAVOUST (French Army Health Services, Toulon, France) Emergence of Vector-Borne Zoonosis in the Mediterranean Basin: A Focus on Rickettsiosis sensu stricto 09:45 – 10:15 Henri-Jean Boulouis (Microbiology, Alfort Veterinary School, France) Vectorial competence of Ixodes ticks. Focus on Bartonella. 10:15 – 10:45 Robert Farkas (Veterinary Faculty, Budapest, Hungary) The Importance of Fleas and Ticks in Central Europe: The Hungarian Example 10:45 – 11:15: Break 11:15 – 12:00 Richard WALL and Eric MORGAN (University, Bristol, UK) Entomological challenges for northern countries 12:00 Conclusion 12h15: Buffet lunch and departure of attendees.

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Press Release

Climatology at the Service of Veterinary and Human Medicine
A bio-mathematical model for the risk evaluation of flea & tick populations

6th Merial Symposium on Parasitosis & Arthropod-Borne Diseases

Tunis April 9th 2008. The 6th Merial Symposium on Parasitosis and Arthropod-Borne Diseases opens today in Tunis gathering over 120 climatology, parasitology and veterinary specialists to discuss the impact of global warming on 1 2 parasitosis and vector-borne diseases . This year researchers from North Africa have been involved for the first time in focussing on exotic diseases emerging in Europe. The outcome of this year’s meeting will be risk management and the launch of a new climatic biomathematical model called “FleaTickRisk”. For 7 years now, Merial, a joint venture of Merck & Co., Inc. and sanofi-aventis and one of the leading animal health companies in the world, has organized an annual meeting to monitor and discuss diseases both caused by parasites and transmitted by parasites, called the “Merial European Parasitology – Arthropod-Borne Diseases Symposium”. The first Symposium was held in Amsterdam in 2001 and the most recent edition was held in Marseille in 2007. The past few years have seen the emergence of new diseases, or re-emergence of existing ones, sometimes with changes in their epidemiology. In its previous symposia, Merial has reviewed these epidemiological changes (changes in geographical distribution, prevalence, and pathogenicity of vectorborne diseases) and their possible causes. Today, the theme is much broader as most of these diseases affect both man and animals (zoonoses) and incidence is increasing due to climatic changes, so their management requires a multidisciplinary approach. During last year’s symposium, speakers presented results and hypotheses of studies in both veterinary medicine and human medicine conducted in over 25 countries. This year in Tunis, climatologists and socio-economists have joined their veterinary and human medicine counterparts to exchange on this vast topic, but also to discuss common points and differences and set up collaboration programmes between institutes, universities, etc in various countries of Europe and North Africa. Ticks, Tick Borne Diseases and Modelling : http://www.fleatickrisk.com/ Over the last 10 years, the number of ticks and tick-borne diseases has considerably increased, causing a sudden soar in those human diseases transmitted by forest ticks, such as rickettsiosis, anaplasmosis, and encephalitis; it thus appeared really important to develop epidemiological models linking three key elements:

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diseases caused by parasites diseases caused by parasites, bacteria or viruses transmitted by the bite of hematophagous arthropods (mainly ticks and mosquitoes)

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biomathematics - to study the dynamics of vectors and pathogens, satellite mapping - to monitor the emergence and distribution of diseases related to vegetation & human activities, and climatic modelling - to follow parasite activity caused by meteorological trends.

For the first time ever, a new model, called “FleaTickRisk” has been designed in collaboration between climatologists (from Climpact, a start-up between researchers from the CNRS* and Paris VI* University), biomathematicians (from the research unit of the Lyon Veterinary School associated with the CNRS) and parasitologists (from Merial and the Maisons-Alfort Veterinary School). After one year of intense development, “FleaTickRisk” can now predict, on a weekly basis, the activity of 3 tick species as well as that of cat fleas in France (pilot country for one year). It can also predict the density of parasites and the risk of disease transmission (ie: animal and human infestations); it has been made available for Veterinarians on a dedicated website : http://www.fleatickrisk.com/. This model will be extended to all of Europe in the autumn of 2008 and made available to Veterinarians.

Screenshots of www.fleatickrisk.com

A scientific validation based on parasite collection has started and will continue throughout 2008. The model means that the impact of the climate on parasite burdens can be studied, but it will also help Veterinarians in their day-to-day activity of recommending suitable parasite treatment and prevention. Impact of global warming The most recent Parasitology Symposia organised by Merial (Zagreb 2006 and Marseille 2007) confirmed the tendency that certain vector-borne diseases are increasing in Europe, that pathogens are circulating more easily, that the conditions for such changes involve primarily human factors, but that global warming also has a direct impact on arthropod vectors (density, geographical distribution, vectorial capacity). Within the last ten years, "new" diseases have been reported in horses and carnivores, e.g. babesiosis in Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium, canine monocytic ehrlichiosis in Southern Europe, A. platys anaplasmosis in France and A. phagocytophilum anaplasmosis in cattle, horses, dogs and cats in Northern Europe. The role of various factors have been identified: Transport by air, sea, train, and road has literally "exploded" over the last two decades, with intense movements of production animals, sport and leisure animals, and humans. Whether they are carried out for commercial or leisure purposes, these movements provide ideal conditions for the circulation of pathogens if they are not properly controlled.

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Increasing holiday entitlement and travel to ever-more-distant locations promote pathogen exchanges, especially when domestic pets are travelling with their owner. For instance, more and more Northern Europeans go to Spain, Italy, and France during the summer, and their pets may then return to the Netherlands, Belgium, or Germany with leishmaniosis, ehrlichiosis, or babesiosis. The creation of parks facilitates the development of tick populations, vectors of numerous diseases, such as Lyme borreliosis. Open-air activities such as trekking, mountain biking or jogging also increase the risk of being bitten. The development of large suburban areas, where everyone has his own little garden … favours the development of arthropod vectors (e.g. ticks, mosquitoes, and biting flies). In other parts of the world, dams, and artificial lakes sometimes create conditions which can be favourable to the development of disease vectors. Measures to protect wild fauna, combined with land rehabilitation and management practices, particularly in forestry, have resulted in a proliferation of red deer, roe deer, wild boar, and foxes, which are all hosts for hematophagous arthropods acting as vectors of pathogens or other parasites. For instance, the development of fox populations and their presence in urban environments has resulted in an increase of Echinococcus multilocularis (tapeworm) infestations, which can cause severe parasitic hepatitis in man. Global warming is currently associated with unstable weather conditions and acute phenomena: rain, floods, storms, etc. Far from decreasing vector populations, these phenomena promote their demographic expansion. Moreover, small variations in temperature and humidity levels have rapid effects on arthropod populations (fleas, ticks, mosquitoes, sandflies and Culicoides).

Reports were made on the surveillance networks being set up to monitor impact on both human and animal health, since the majority of these diseases are zoonoses. “The evolution towards effective risk management and raising awareness among professionals and the general public on the topic of climate changes and vector-borne diseases is the main objective of these meetings. Our modern societies do not accept these kinds of risks anymore, they are too well informed, so we have to take the necessary measures well in advance.” Concludes Frédéric Beugnet, Technical Director at Merial EMEA and PhD in parasitology. About Merial With its involvement in research as well as with its range of products, Merial provides veterinarians, pharmacists and doctors with epidemiological and clinical data, as well as adequate preventive and therapeutic solutions. The Frontline® product range (Frontline Spray®, Frontline Spot On® and Frontline Combo®) is the current world leader in flea and tick control for cats and dogs (source: Wood Mackenzie 2006 Report) Pirodog® is a preventive vaccine against canine babesiosis, Merilym® is a preventive vaccine against canine Lyme borreliosis. The Heartgard® range is the world leader in canine cardiopulmonary dirofilariosis prevention. Merial also produces preventive vaccines against Bluetongue in sheep and West Nile virus infection in horses. Press contacts Merial EMEA Amanda Evans +33 4 72 72 31 23 / Amanda.evans@merial.com Ruder Finn Mai Tran / Juliette Billaroch + 33 1 56 81 15 00 / MerialNet@ruderfinn.fr

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ABSTRACT BOOK
6th MERIAL Symposium
Arthropod-Borne Diseases: NEW CHALLENGES for Europe and the Mediterranean Basin
Hotel Concorde “les Berges du lac” Tunis – 9-11 April 2008

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Change in epidemiology of Arthopod Borne Diseases and the need for new models. Presentation of “FleaTickRisk”: A New Climatic Model to Study Arthropod Infestation
Frederic Beugnet, DVM, MSC, PhD, Technical Director Merial Europe 29 Av Tony Garnier, 69007 Lyon, France frederic.beugnet@merial.com Vector-borne diseases are caused by parasites, bacteria or viruses transmitted by the bite of hematophagous arthropods (mainly ticks and mosquitoes). As most of these diseases affect both men and animals (zoonoses), their management requires a multidisciplinary approach. The past few years have seen the emergence of new diseases, or re-emergence of existing ones, sometimes with changes in their epidemiology. The factors which can explain the modifications have been reviewed in several publications and lectures in the past years: Human social activities, traveling, holidays, wildlife preservation, climate changes, commercial activities…. Due to their relationships and their mode of life, the thematic of domestic pets (cats and dogs), horses and humans is very different than the situation and risks concerning the production animals (sheep, cattle and avian). It is confirmed that the frequency of some vector-borne diseases is increasing in Europe that pathogens are circulating more easily, that the conditions for such changes involve primarily human factors, but that global warming also has a direct impact on arthropod vectors (density, geographical distribution, vectorial capacity). Within the last ten years, "new" diseases were reported in horses and carnivores, e.g. babesiosis in Germany, the Netherlands, and Belgium, canine monocytic ehrlichiosis in Southern Europe, A. platys anaplasmosis in France, and A. phagocytophilum anaplasmosis in cattle, horses, dogs and cats in Northern Europe…New zoonotic diseases are identified in western Europe like anaplasmosis, rickettsiosis, or tick borne encephalitis. The role of various factors is recognised: - Traveling by air, sea, train, and road has literally "exploded" over the last two decades, with intense movements of production animals, sport and leisure animals, and humans. Whether they are carried out for commercial or leisure purposes, if not properly controlled, these movements provide ideal conditions for the circulation of pathogens. The accidental introduction of rabies in France from dogs this year is a typical example of what can happen. - Increasing holiday entitlement and travels to ever more distant locations promote pathogen exchanges, especially when domestic pets are travelling with their owner. For instance, more and more Northern Europeans go to Spain, Italy, and France during the summer, and their pets then return to the Netherlands, Belgium, or Germany with leishmaniosis, ehrlichiosis, or babesiosis.
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- The creation of parks facilitates the development of tick populations, vectors of numerous diseases, such as Lyme borreliosis. Open-air activities such as trekking, mountain biking or jogging also increase the risk of being bitten. - The development of large suburban areas, where everyone has its own little garden, favours the development of arthropod vectors (e.g. ticks, mosquitoes, and biting flies). - Measures to protect wild fauna, combined with land rehabilitation and management practices, particularly in forestry, resulted in a proliferation of red deers, roe deers, wild boars, and foxes, which are all hosts for hematophagous arthropods acting as vectors of pathogens or other parasites. For instance, the development of fox populations and their presence in urban environments resulted in an increase of Echinococcus multilocularis (tapeworm) infestations. - Climatic changes (“Global warming”) is currently associated with unstable weather conditions and acute phenomena: rain, floods, storms, etc. Far from decreasing vector populations, these phenomena promote their demographic expansion. Moreover, small variations in temperature and humidity levels have rapid effects on arthropod populations (fleas, ticks, mosquitoes, sandflies, and Culicoides). To face all the changes, there is necessity to develop epidemiological models including biomathematics (to study the dynamic of vectors and pathogens), satellite mapping (to follow the emergence and distribution of diseases linked with vegetation & human activities) and climatic modelling (to follow the activity of parasites linked with meteorology). For the first time, a new model, called FleaTickRisk, will be presented. It has been developed by a collaboration between climatologists (from Climpact, start-up issued from CNRS and Paris VI), biomathematicians (research unit of the Lyon Veterinary School associated with CNRS) and parasitologists (from Merial and the Veterinary School of Maisons-Alfort). After one year and half of development, this model can predict the activity of 3 tick species as well of the cat fleas in France, on a weekly basis. It can also predict the density of parasites and the risk of animal and human infestations (which means the risk of disease transmission). This model is available for vets on a dedicated website: fleatickrisk.com. The actual resolution is 25 km² but a highest resolution (3 km²) could be developed. It will be soon extended to all european countries (France acted as a pilot during the first year). A scientific validation based on parasite collect has started and will continue during all year 2008. Such model will allow the study of the climate impact on parasite burden, but will also help the veterinarians in their daily activity for recommendation in regards to treatment and prevention.

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Global Warming: global effects and local impacts
Harilaos Loukos (CEO/CSO CLIMPACT) After a brief presentation of Climpact, the talk will present the results from the Fourth Assessment Report released November 2007 by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The observed and expected changes are presented from a global to regional and local level with a special focus on European impacts.

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Disease Mapping in Veterinary Parasitology: Methodology and Examples of Vector-Borne Diseases, (Heartworm Focus) Laura Rinaldi and Giuseppe Cringoli Dipartimento di Patologia e Sanità Animale, Settore di Parassitologia Veterinaria, Università degli Studi di Napoli “Federico II”, Napoli, Italy Disease mapping and environmental risk assessment using geographical information systems (GIS) and remote sensing (RS) technologies are now established as basic tools in the analysis of both human and veterinary health. In veterinary sciences, particularly in veterinary parasitology, GIS and RS offer powerful means for disease mapping, ecological analysis and epidemiological surveillance and have become indispensable tools for processing, analysing and visualising spatial data. They can also significantly assist with the assessment of the distribution of health-relevant environmental factors via interpolation and modelling. Climatic changes, together with an increase in the movement of cats and dogs across Europe, have caused an increase in the geographical range of several vector-borne parasites, e.g. Dirofilaria, and in the risk of infection for animals and humans. Climate-based forecast systems, employing the concept of growing degree days (GDD), have been developed for different diseases of parasitological importance. Regarding heartworm (HW) disease caused by Dirofilaria immitis, a GIS-based model has been developed using temperature records from 2,256 meteorological stations in 58 European countries, spanning a 15-year period. This model was based on the fact that: (i) the D. immitis rate of maturation to infective L3 in the mosquitoes depends mainly on temperature, (ii) there is a threshold of 14°C below which development will not proceed, (iii) there is a requirement of 130 GDD for larvae to reach infectivity and a maximum life expectancy of 30 days for a vector mosquito. As result of this model, predictive maps have been drawn, assessing the duration of the HW transmission risk period and the efficient timing of HW chemoprophylaxis. The meteorological data used for the HW model, can also be extrapolated to study spatial and temporal transmission risk of other climate-based vector-borne parasites.

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An invader who is there to stay – the case of bluetongue in Europe.
Guy Hendrickx Avia-GIS, Zoersel, Belgium In recent years, several vector-borne, parasitic, zoonotic diseases have (re)-emerged and spread across Europe. These events have a profound impact on human health, ecology, socio-economics and disease management. Most of these outbreaks can be linked to global and/or local changes resulting from climate change, human-induced landscape changes or the changing activities of human populations. These changes have led to the invasion of new insect disease vectors, the improved vectorial capacity of autochthonous vectors to new or established pathogens, or to the introduction and establishment of new pathogens. Arguably the best documented example of veterinary importance is the recent twofold invasion of bluetongue in Europe. During the late nineties the tropical midge, Culicoides imicola started invading the Mediterranean basin from Northern Africa and the Near East taking in its wake a series of bluetongue virus serotypes - BTV 1, 2, 4, 9 and 16 - which are now endemic in several parts of the Mediterranean region. Most of the bluetongue outbreaks have been attributed to this invasive tropical midge. Nevertheless at the fringes of its still expanding distribution area (e.g. the Balkan), local midges apparently have taken over the role of the tropical midge, by carrying and spreading the virus. What is of even more concern is the recent successful ‘northern outbreak’ of the BTV8 serotype, north of latitude 51° initiated in 2006 and further spreading in 2008. This serotype is unknown around the Mediterranean basin and thus the outbreaks are clearly independent of the previously recorded ‘southern outbreaks’. Within this northern zone only native midges are present and disease spread can only be attributed to these native species. Whilst these outbreaks may be related to the extreme weather conditions prevailing during the summer of ’06, they may anticipate the siege of ‘fortress Europe’ by a whole set of new pathogens in the coming decade since more than 50 viruses have been associated to Culicoïdes midges. The fact that viral infectious diseases of livestock in Europe are no longer restricted to diseases transmitted through direct contact, but now also include vector-borne diseases may have a significant impact on research and disease management. The bluetongue saga offers a unique opportunity to understand this better and prepare for future clashes.

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VECTORIAL DISEASES OF PETS AND HORSES: SITUATION IN NORTH AFRICA CHABCHOUB Ahmed1 & BOUATTOUR ALI2
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Service de pathologie Médicale des équidés et carnivore, Ecole Nationale de médecine Vétérinaire ; Sidi-Thabet 2020 Tunisie. chabchoubahmed2001@yahoo.fr
2

Service d’Entomologie Médicale, Institut Pasteur de Tunis, BP 74 Tunis. ali.bouattour@pasteur.rns.tn

The Maghreb region (Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia) has a climate of Mediterranean type in the north and arid Sahara in the south. The total equine population estimated at 2.5 millions constituted essentially, of working equines; the majority of horses (370000) being Barb. Two majors (West Nile and equine infectious anaemia (EIA)) and three minor vectorial diseases have been reported to occur in this area. They are important and have severe economical consequences. Beside, knowing climate changes may increase the risk of the spread of these arthropod-borne diseases. West Nile Virus infection has recently caused an outbreak in some Mediterranean’s countries and epizootics in horses have been reported in Morocco in 1996 and 2003. In many areas of the world, African horse sickness and EIA are shown to be a major limiting factor to an efficient production of working equines. In 1965-1966, several African horse sickness outbreaks have occurred in Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia and the virus serotype 9 has been involved. The last outbreak was caused by the serotype 4 and occurred during 1987-1991 in Spain, Portugal and Morocco causing significant economic losses. In Tunisia a seroepidemiological survey for EIA was realised in 1997 and 533 equine samples were analysed by immunodiffusion test. All sera were negative. In Morocco the level of EIA infection reported was very low (1%). Piroplasmosis in equids is caused by B. caballi and affects mainly donkeys. Other tick-borne diseases of horses such as ehrlichiosis and Lyme borreliosis are difficult to diagnose clinically and their impact are still unknown. In the Maghreb the medical and veterinary importance of vector borne diseases in dogs results from the transmission of a wide variety of infectious agents such as: - canine Leishmaniasis (C L) is caused by Leishmania infantum zymodem MON-1, transmitted by the sand fly Phlebotomus perniciosus. Sero-epidemiological survey has been conducted in several localities of the Maghreb, has shown a seroprevalence that varies within different bioclimatic zones; it is higher in the humid, sub-humid and semi-arid area (20 to 37 %) than in arid and sahara zones (2 to 10%). However, some localities were considering as an important focus of CL with a high seroprevalence (Azazgo in Algeria (38%), Nador in Morocco (35%) and Ghobellat in Tunisia (48%)).
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A spatial expansion of CL from the northern to the southern regions was reported in the Maghreb. The spread can be explained by movements of stray dogs and environmental changes. - canine ehrlichiosis is endemic in the Maghreb. Based on clinical, serological and molecular investigations, recently done in Tunisia, ehrlichiosis in dogs is shown to be caused by three species: E. canis, A. platys and A. phagocytophilum. E. canis is considered to be the major agent causing canine ehrlichiosis. Several studies carried out in Tunisia, reported seroprevalence ranging from 24% to 85% depending on the location and the dog population. A. platys, the ethiologic agent of canine infectious cyclic thrombocytopenia is suspected to be transmitted between dogs by R. sanguineus. - cases of canine babesiosis have frequently been reported by local small animal practitioners in the Maghreb. Recently, a study, carried out in Tunisia showed that canine babesiosis is caused by Babesia canis vogeli. This species which is transmitted by Rhipicephalus sanguineus, gives a moderate and often clinically unapparent infection. - canine dirofilariosis is caused by Dirofilaria immitis and transmitted by Culicidae. In Tunisia, the seroprevalence is estimated at 5%. This seroprevalence varies depending on the age of animal and mainly on the localities of dogs. - dog Bartonella infection. A recent serological investigation on Bartonella spp in dogs was done in the Maghreb region have shown a seroprevalence of B. vinsonii in domestic dogs of 16% and 38% in Tunisia and Morocco, respectively. The prevalence of antibodies to. B. clarridgeiae was 10.5 % in dogs from Tunis. - Lyme Borreliosis : three species of Borrelia burgdorferi sl were identified in Ixodes ricinus ticks, collected in the Maghreb (B. lusitaniae B. garinii and B. burgdorferi ss) and the infection of dogs by these Borrelia species has not been reported before in the Maghreb.

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Evolution of Canine Babesiosis and Granulocytic Anaplasmosis in Western and Central Europe K. Pfister Insitute of Comparative Tropical Medicine and Parasitology. Dept. of Vet. Medicine, LM - University Munich, Leopoldstr. 5, 80802 Munich, Germany Canine Babesiosis Canine babesiosis is caused by various Babesia spp., tick-transmitted hemoprotozoa which parasitize red blood cells. In Western and Central Europe the detectable cases of babesiosis are mainly caused by B. canis canis (vector tick: Dermacentor reticulatus) and B. canis vogeli (vector tick: Rhipicephalus sanguineus).The D. reticulatus - transmitted canine babesiosis has long been known in several Southern European countries and has been very prominent over years in most parts of France. A number of small tick-contaminated areas have long been known in West of Switzerland, Germany, Belgium, The Netherlands, Austria, Hungary and Slovakia. More recently, some of these tick-spots appear to have spread and D. reticulatus populations seem to increase in some areas. The reasons are not known, but most likely a continuously changing land use might be an important risk factor for an increase of tick popolations. Consequently, in some of the above mentioned countries there have been detected in recent years increasing numbers of B. canis canis - infections. Comparatively different is the epidemiology and the pattern of R. sanguineus - transmitted canine babesiosis. Until today, there are not yet any R. sanguineus ticks surviving in nature in Western or Central Europe north of the Alpes. All canine babesiosis cases due to B. canis vogeli are either imported from southern European areas or from other endemic areas (i.e. a typically imported or “travelling disease”) or, B. canis vogeli - infected R. sanguineus ticks have been brought into an animal shelter or a kennel or even a veterinary practice from where they can easily be transmitted to newly arriving dogs. Thus, R. sanguineus - transmitted babesiosis is always linked to imported infections. Infections with Babesia gibsoni - group are still rather seldom in Western or Central Europe. In most cases they are linked to either imported dogs from endemic areas or to dogs from families having taken these dogs to endemic areas. Canine granulocytic anaplasmosis Canine granulocytic anaplasmosis (CGA) is caused by Anaplasma phagocytophilum, an Ixodes ricinus - transmitted bacterium. Due to the intensive occurrence and the wide distribution of the host-tick I. ricinus, this typical general infectious disease is widely distributed. The disease pattern and the occurrence of this disease have been extensively described in Sweden, Switzerland and Germany. Individual cases have been described in several other European countries. However, CGA is difficult to diagnose, particularly because it shows usually symptoms of a generalised infectious disease. However, whereas between 40 – 50% of a healthy dog population in Germany is seropositive for CGA only a few individual cases are
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manifesting a real CGA-disease. I. e. it is extremely difficult to diagnose this disease in an appropriate medical way. Our own analyses have clearly revealed a seasonal pattern, but so far no conclusions can be drawn about an impact of climatic changes on the occurrence of CGA in Western and Central Europe. Clearly, the most difficult, but most important aspect is to diagnose CGA in an appropriate way, as a serological analysis only does not allow to diagnose canine granulocytic anaplasmosis.

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CANINE LEISHMANIOSIS: IS EVERYTHING UNDER CONTROL? Guadalupe Miró Veterinary Faculty - Universidad Complutense of Madrid - Spain The control of this important disease is considered very difficult for a variety of reasons: it is a vector-borne disease, the number of new cases is increasing and its distribution is changing all over Europe; there are new reservoirs such as cats; the interpretation of the diagnosis is quite difficult overall in cryptic cases; drugs available are not curative at all; and vaccines are still not available in Europe. Actually, the different strategies conducted to control Canine Leishmaniosis (CL) includes measures towards the vector, the dog, and the parasite. In order to control sandflies in the environment we need to have a deep knowledge of their biological characteristics: its vital ranged activity is between 15 and 28ºC, always associated with a high relative humidity and with no wind or rain; they fly around a short area between 200 m and 2.5 km; they may enter the houses at night because of their positive phototropism; female oviposition is made in organic matter, basements, firewood stores, rubbish, etc.. and through out the Mediterranean basin, their activity cycle is between spring and summer time. Related to the dog, we must consider the importance of controlling the disease in healthy, infected and/or sick dogs. The prevention of sandflies from feeding on the host is accomplished in two different ways: diminishing the vector exposition by keeping dogs indoors during the maximum period of sandflies activity (early morning and late afternoon) and also by using repellents or insecticides (collars, pipettes, sprays) mainly based on sintetic pirethroids to decrease the transmission. Lastly, to fight against the parasite the use of chemotherapy and immunoprophylaxis are needed. To date, sick dogs are being treated with leishmanicide drugs but, although treatment protocols and clinical monitoring have changed considerably, the drugs used are basically the ones that have been used for years. Thanks to better quality veterinary clinical management, the “recovery” expectations (clinical but not parasitological) of sick animals, are much greater than they were some years ago. The active principles, with leishmanicide or leishmanistatic effectiveness, that have been considered to date, make up a long list: pentavalent antimonies, purine analogues (allopurinol), polyenic antibiotics (amphotericin B),
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alkylphospholipides (miltefosine), diamidines (pentamidine), aminoglucoside antibiotics (aminosidine), imidazole derivatives (ketoconazole, metronidazole), immunomodulators (levamisole, cytokines, interferon), and the list continues at length: lepidines, nistatine, alaninamides, D-L-α, difluoromethylornitine, chlorpromazine, ipramine, cyclosporine A, domperidone, azytromycin, enrofloxacyn, marbofloxacyn, and some combinations such as metronidazole/spiramycin. From all the drugs described above, the protocol which has been most employed to date and stresses a good evidence based includes the combination of antimonials with allopurinol, due to its synergic and effectiveness. The misuse of leishmanicides in dogs has led to the emergence of resistant strains confirmed in vitro and in vivo; for what it is necessary to review and unify current protocols emplyed in CL in order to avoid resistances to the main drugs employed in human leishmaniosis (HL). Once the drug/s and the dosage have been chosen, it is necessary to assess the response to the treatment given based on clinical progress and the post-treatment pathological findings. When progress after a therapeutic cycle is unsatisfactory it is necessary to rethink the treatment or query the diagnosis, assessing the presence of concomitant diseases, mainly vector- borne diseases that may impede a good response (i.e. ehrlichiosis, babesiosis, hepatozoonosis, bartonellosis, etc.). Other preventative measures include medical treatment with allopurinol which is recognized as a drug choice in chemoprophylaxis over a long period of time (12-18 months). At this time, more clinical assays are needed to evaluate the minimum therapeutic period of its administration. Finally, research of immunoprophylaxis is the most important tool in controlling CL, and also HL. Actually, many vaccine candidates of second and third generation are being tested by different important research groups all over the world with promising results, such as the use of recombinant antigen FML (fucose manose ligand), or the use of DNA vaccines. The main goal is to get an efficacious candidate which could induce a good, hard and permanent immune response. In conclusion, due to the aforementioned strategies we are closer to approach a better control of the disease although it must be absolutely integrated.

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Is the spreading of canine leishmaniasis in Morocco due to the economic, demographic and environmental changes?
Allal DAKKAK Institut Agronomique et Vétérinaire Hassan II; Department of Parasitology; B.P. 6202 Rabat-Instituts, Morocco (E. mail: a.dakkak@iav.ac.ma) The Mediterranean coastal regions of Morocco are known to be endemic for human and canine visceral leishmaniasis (CanL) caused by the kinetoplastid protozoan Leishmania infantum. A review of the current knowledge of the distribution and burden of canine leishmaniasis in Morocco by compiling information and data from existing sources (e.g. existing scientific literature, hospital and other medical records, animal production and health reports and any available unpublished data) curried out in 2006 followed by analysis of spatial data topics relevant to disease distribution, revealed a noticeable increase in the number of CanL cases detected in the South slop of the Rif mountains far from the main endemic areas and where the disease was unknown. Furthermore, seroprevalence (10-41%) and virulence of the isolated strain are high even in these new foci. Because this geographic mobility could be associated with the environmental and the biotopes changes which can lead to alterations in the range and densities of vectors and reservoirs, a survey related to the eventual changes was conducted in these regions. The results showed that important humanmade and natural changes occurred during the last three decades. The changes concerned the level and variations of water resources (14 new dams among them 6 were assigned to irrigation), rural management (new vegetation, irrigation network for 230,000 hectares using tunnels and canal systems), new agro-industrial activities, deforestation, road construction, biodiversity losses. These changes may contribute to the increase of populations of Phlebotomine vectors. On the other hand, the new economic opportunities attracted human new population that develop cattle and sheep husbandry, built new villages and new slaughterhouses with inadequate equipments and that are attractive for semi-domestic and/or stray dogs; a situation that is likely to favour an increase in the population of these animals and, consequently, the sources of L. infantum either for dogs and human infection. Finally, it is noticeable that recently, L. tropica, which is usually considered as anthroponotic and classically associated with the human cutaneous leishmaniasis, has been found in these new foci capable of causing canine visceral infection associated with several of the classical signs and pathology.

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Risk for human exotic diseases in Europe The example of the vector Aedes albopictus
Pascal DELAUNAY1, Charles JEANNIN 2, Francis SCHAFFNER 3 1: Human Parasitology-Mycology, Nice hospital, France 2: ADEGE, EID (démoustication Méditerranée), Montpellier, France 3: Institute for Parasitology, University of Zuerich, Switzerland 1: Parasitologie-Mycologie, Hôpital de l'Archet, BP 3079, 06202 Nice cedex 3, France delaunay.p@chu-nice.fr; Tel: 33 (0)4 92 03 62 54 Fax : 33 (0)4 92 03 62 58. The human vector-borne diseases can be transmitted by mosquitoes (dengue fever, West Nile encephalitis, Chikungunya fever, Rift Valley fever, malaria…), sandflies (leishmaniasis, phlebovirosis…) or ticks (Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever, tick-borne encephalitis, Lyme disease, spotted fever…). Actually, one of the greatest threats for Europe and the Mediterranean Basin, would be the Aedes albopictus mosquito, capable of transmitting Chikungunya, West Nile encephalitis or dengue fever. This Asian-native mosquito, introduced into Albania at the end of 1970’s and then into Italy in 1990, has been recorded from fourteen European countries during the last ten years. These introductions resulted from long-distance transports of mosquito eggs with used tyres (coupled with the ability to lay non-desiccating eggs) and from short distances transports of adult females through ground transportations. Chikungunya has recently increased dramatically in incidence and geographic extent. Large outbreaks have affected islands of the Indian Ocean, India and other parts of South and Southeast Asia, Africa and most recently Italy during summer 2007 (337 suspected cases and 217 confirmed cases) in the areas of Ravenna, Forli-Cesena, Rimini and Bologna. These outbreaks have proven that vector-borne diseases can spread throughout the tropical region but also in some temperate country were the Asian tiger mosquito is well established. Aedes albopictus is a competent vector for at least 22 arboviruses. It also transmits the dog heartworm Dirofilaria immitis in South-east Asia, south-eastern U.S.A., and both D. immitis and D. repens in Italy. Occasional cases of human Dirofilariosis have also been reported.

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Distribution of Aedes albopictus mosquito in the world and in Europe

Distribution before 1975

Expansion from 1976 to 2007: interception

establishment

Schaffner, 2008

Scholte & Schaffner, 2007

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Modifications of epidemiology of sheep and goat ectoparasitosis in Maghreb: case of Traumatic myiasis caused by Wohlfahrtia magnifica; case of flea infestations.
Khalid KHALLAAYOUNE Institut Agronomique et Vétérinaire Hassan II, Unité de Parasitologie, Département de Pathologie et Santé Publique Vétérinaires. BP 6202, Rabat-Institus, 10101 Morocco. k.khallaayoune@iav.ac.ma Arthropod-Borne diseases have been among the most important worldwide health problems for many years and, despite progress made in their control by use of insecticides, they still represent a permanent and serious threat to livestock and man. The population density, seasonal activity, geographical distribution and feeding behaviour preferences are mainly linked to climate changes, but also to modifications of the environment caused by variations of breeding practices. Over the last decades, there has been a considerable increase in number of intensive breeding around major large cities of Morocco, to cover meat market demand independently of grassland availability. In these farms, uncommon seasonal allergic dermatitis, associated with Ctenocephalides felis, has recently become a serious health problem in lambs and goats. An epidemiological and clinical study of flea infestation in sheep flocks showed that dermatitis affected mainly lambs with lesions predominately on the legs and the abdomen. Flea infestations in both sheep and goat, reared under intensive conditions, occurred throughout the year, with a peak from May to June. Flea density was particularly high in goat and affected all farm animals kept in the same housing condition, while in sheep infestation was limited to young lambs. It was presumed that ecological changes brought by expansion of intensive breeding and new housing conditions had led to an explosion of flea populations. Infestation had a significant impact on livestock productivity, and flea control had only a very limited success. Traumatic myiasis caused by the fleshfly, Wohlfahrtia magnifica (Diptera: Sarcophagidae) occurs in livestock throughout the Mediterranean Basin. In summer 2001, a severe outbreak of Wohlfahrtiosis was reported in Al Hoceima around the small colony of Spain (Melilia). Most cases were observed in dogs, but a field survey revealed that livestock were also infested. It was initially presumed that the fleshfly was limited to the North, and introduced from Spain. However, identification of W. magnifica larvae in a tumour skin lesion of a man from Khemisset provided evidence that the disease was present also in central Morocco. To evaluate the extent and history of Wohlfahrtiosis, a large survey was conducted in the major
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animal husbandry regions of Morocco, among private veterinarians and farmers. Examination of Museum collections of Diptera confirmed that W. magnifica had occurred for decades throughout Morocco, and for unknown reasons it is presently spreading. Analysis of GIS gave clear evidence that climate changes during the last years may have played an important role in the outbreak of the disease. It is thought that stray dogs may have a major role as reservoirs of the disease, enabling an extension of the infestation to livestock. A close surveillance of the disease during the last two years has shown a significant decrease in the number of cases, and most reported cases are still limited to endemic areas. Risk for further outbreaks remains present, due high stray dog populations and uncontrolled livestock movements between Morocco and neighbor countries. There is clear evidence that global changes associated with new husbandry projects and increases in temperature will have in the future a great impact on the biology of living organisms and result in an important modification of the distribution areas of different parasites. Modifications caused by man to ecosystems will result, ineluctably, in environmental disturbances which can be favourable to emergence of pathogens. Integrated ectoparasites control can only be achieved through appropriate management measures and use of environmentally safe compounds.

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Emergence of vector-borne zoonoses in the Mediterranean basin: a focus on rickettsioses stricto sensu
Jean-Lou MARIÉ, DVM, Chief of the Defence Veterinary Sector in Marseille, expert in animal epidemiology for NATO, part time researcher in the Rickettsiae Unit, WHO collaborating centre in Marseille - jean-lou.marie@wanadoo.fr Bernard DAVOUST, DVM, Chief of the Defence Veterinary Services for South-east France, Toulon, expert in animal epidemiology for the French Forces Health Service, part time researcher in the Rickettsiae Unit, WHO collaborating centre in Marseille bernard.davoust@mageos.com Rickettioses stricto sensu are infectious diseases caused by bacteria of the genus Rickettsia, family Rickettsiaceae, order Rickettsiales, transmitted to humans by arthropods, mainly ticks, fleas, lice and mites. Rickettsia are obligate intracellular bacteria colored by the Gimenez staining. In the world, 16 of the 20 tick-borne Rickettsiae, recognized as pathogens to date, have been discovered during the last two decades, making rickettsioses the paradigm of emerging diseases. Rickettsioses are mainly human diseases and the role of vertebrates still requires more investigation to identify potential reservoirs among subclinically infected animals. In the case of R. conorii, many surveys evidenced a high seroprevalence in dogs from endemic areas. The geographic distribution of rickettsioses is closely linked to the arthropod vectors, involving climatic, environmental and ecosystem factors. In the cycles of the diseases, arthropods often act as reservoirs, with transovarial and/or trans-stadial transmission. Rickettsioses are usually divided into a spotted fever group (tick-borne rickettsioses and fleaborne spotted fever) and a typhus group (murine typhus and epidemic typhus), based on the main clinical manifestations. In the world, R. rickettsii is responsible for the rocky mountain spotted fever, the most severe rickettsiosis. In Europe, the main one is the Mediterranean spotted fever caused by Rickettsia conorii conorii. Transmission of this bacterium to humans occurs through the bite of the brown dog tick, Rhipicephalus sanguineus, mainly in summer. Clinical signs usually associate fever, rash and a black eschar; severe complications are reported in 6% of the cases. Two other subspecies, R. conorii israelensis and R. conorii caspia are also reported in our area of interest. Rickettsia slovaca is responsible for the tick-borne lymphadenitis also called TIBOLA, or DEBONEL in Spain, transmitted by Dermacentor
Page 20 of 24

ticks. The association of an inoculation eschar on the scalp and cervical lymphadenopathy without fever and rash, after a stay in endemic zone in winter, is strongly evocative. R. sibirica mongolitimonae is the causative agent of lymphangitis-associated rickettsiosis. R. aeschlimannii, R. massiliae and R. helvetica are among the other recently identified spotted fever rickettioses in Europe and the Mediterranean basin. R. felis is the agent of flea-borne spotted fever, transmitted by different species of fleas including the cat flea, Ctenocephalides felis. Different surveys have demonstrated a world-wide distribution in the fleas, even if the number of human cases remains limited and the disease usually a mild flu-like syndrome. Finally, the mite-transmitted Rickettsia akari, the agent of rickettsialpox, is also known to be prevalent in Europe. Among the typhus group, Rickettsia typhi is responsible of murine typhus or endemic typhus, transmitted to humans by the feces of the rat flea, Xenopsylla cheopis. Murine typhus has a world-wide distribution and remains endemic in South Europe (Greece, Spain) and in North Africa. Fever, headache and rash in a patient in endemic zone, should suggest the diagnosis, especially in case of flea contact. Rickettsia prowazekii is responsible for epidemic typhus, a rickettsiosis transmitted to humans by Pediculus humanus humanus, the human body louse. Sporadic cases have been identified in the last few years in Algeria and in France. The clinical features include fever, headache and cutaneous rash among patients carrying body lice and living under poor hygiene conditions. The diagnosis of the different rickettioses is confirmed in the laboratory by molecular amplification with PCR or culture using skin lesions, blood or arthropod specimens. Even if cross-reactions are frequent, serological tests are widely employed, in particular microimmunofluorescence. The treatment usually consists in the administration of tetracycline, more specially doxycycline, at the dose of 200 mg per day for the adults. As it happened in the past, we can easily anticipate that additional Rickettsiae, already evidenced in ticks, will emerge as pathogens in the future.

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Vectorial competence of Ixodes ticks. Focus on Bortonella.
Henri- Jean BOULOUIS, UMR BIPAR AFSSA-ENVA Microbiology, Alfort Veterinary School, France hjboulouis@vet-alfort.fr

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The Importance of Fleas and Ticks in Central Europe: The Hungarian Example
Robert Farkas Department of Parasitology and Zoology, Faculty of Veterinary Science, Szent István University, Budapest, Hungary Several ectoparasites can infest domesticated animals of which the fleas and hard ticks are the most frequent parasites of companion animals worldwide. These blood-sucking arthropods can cause skin disorders, e.g. the flea-related skin diseases of dogs may account for over 50% of dermatologic problems presented to veterinarians. Ticks and fleas are also vectors and reservoirs of certain pathogens such as viruses, bacteria, protozoa and helminths causing serious diseases not only in dogs and cats but also in humans. It the recent decades the interest in these ectoparasites has been resurrected because of their zoonotic importance and the discovery of a large market for the control of them in small animals. For these reasons these arthropods and the pathogens transmitted by ticks and fleas have been studied intensively worldwide. Even though flea and tick infestations of livestock and pets have been known for a long time in the Central European countries, and these ectoparasites are still widespread despite the increasing number of anti-flea and anti-tick products and their use, few studies have focused on these parasites. Since 1990s considerable economical and social changes have occurred in many countries in this part of Europe. Besides the effects of global warming several other factors (e.g. changes of living conditions and insecticide use, increased mobility of pets to natural places and abroad) have influenced the expansion of ticks and fleas as well as the incidence and distribution of tick- and flea-borne pathogens. The importance of these arthropods has also been highlighted by the rapid development of molecular biological methods enabling easy screening of different agents in domesticated animals and arthropod vectors. Parallel with these changes there has been considerable scope for continued education of the local vets and the public of biology, epidemiology and animal and public health importance of fleas and ticks. Because of no or scant information was available regarding these ectoparasites the number of studies has been increased in these countries, especially in Hungary where fruitful research collaboration has been developed between the local scientists and Merial. The lecture will make an attempt to summarise the importance of ticks and fleas based on the new results obtained in Central European countries including Hungary during the last decade. The owners’ awareness concerning the flea and tick infestation of their pets will be also discussed briefly.
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Entomological challenges in Northern Europe
Richard Wall and Eric Morgan Veterinary Parasitology & Ecology Group, School of Biological Sciences, University of Bristol, BS8 1UG, UK

Climate change is likely to affect the epidemiology of a wide range of ectoparasite-mediated disease in contrasting ways. In general, at higher temperatures, increased development rates, longer transmission seasons, and abandonment of diapause (where relevant) would be expected to increase intrinsic parasite population growth rates and cause greater disease problems. Effects could be more pronounced than in many endoparasites, in which increases in the mortality of infective stages, and more rapid acquisition of immunity, will provide some mitigation. However, projections should not ignore changes in husbandry practices, which may occur independently or as a result of perceived increases in risk of ectoparasitic disease. In this context, effects of climate change on parasite aggregation could be of key importance, since this will have a dominant role in determining the chance of detection of increased parasite abundance and hence the likelihood of intervention by chemical treatment and altered husbandry. Here, we examine the possible effects of temperature-induced changes in infection patterns on parasite abundance, aggregation and detection, using a general individual-based model framework that can be adapted to specific ectoparasite taxa. We then go on to investigate the effect of changes in aggregation and in husbandry (both climate-driven and parasite-driven) on levels of blowfly strike in sheep caused by Lucilia sericata, using a previously published biologically-realistic simulation model. This shows that although the effects of climate change on disease incidence are potentially dramatic, they cannot be meaningfully considered without also including likely changes in major husbandry-related risk factors. With future climate change, dominant observed effects might centre on altered husbandry and intervention strategies rather than increased disease incidence per se. Greater attention must therefore be paid to understanding and predicting the economics of detection and intervention in relation to ectoparasitic disease in domestic animals.

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6th MERIAL SYMPOSIUM ON PARASITOSIS & ARTHOPOD-BORNE DISEASES
April 9th-11th, 2008 Tunis, Tunisia

Arthropod-Borne Diseases: NEW CHALLENGES for Europe and the Mediterranean Basin
Frederic BEUGNET (Merial, Lyon, France) “FleaTickRisk”: A New Climatic Model to Study Arthropod Infestation A veterinary academic: university researcher for 10 years in Lyon and Paris before joining the animal health Industry in a scientific role in 2000. Still teaches at University. First of all worked on internal parasites of horses & carnivores before specialising, in 1994, in ticks and subsequently all arthropod vectors. Since 1995, has developed a particular interest in epidemiology, in vector dynamics and chemoresistance phenomena. Frederic coordinates surveys with University colleagues on the presence of fleas and ticks throughout Europe and the diseases they transmit. Has been working on a climatological risk management model since 2006. Harilaos LOUKOS (Climpact, Paris, France) Climatic Changes – “Global Warming” – Myth or Reality – European signs? Doctor in Oceanography, Doctor in Climatology, Expert in climatic issues and in « global warming » for the EU in Brussels. Was a researcher for the CNRS and University of Paris VI for several years before starting up CLIMPACT, to evaluate the impact of climate change on various factors such as health, industrial production, pollution, etc. Holds several patents in the field of mathematical models of change and was also behind Index (the study of climate change). Laura RINALDI (Veterinary University, Napoli, Italy) Disease Mapping in Veterinary Parasitology: Methodology and Examples of Vector-Borne Diseases, (Heartworm Focus) Veterinarian, Doctor of the University of Naples Specialised in Geographic Information Systems which forecast the extension and activity of parasites, vectors, diseases … depending on the integration of several different parameters such as vegetation, topography … Set up the GnosisGIS network to help specialists to exchange on this theme. Is the editor of the specialist journal: Geospatial Health (http://www.geospatialhealth.unina.it/). Kurt PFISTER (Veterinary Faculty, Munich, Germany) Evolution of Canine Babesiosis and Granulocytic Anaplasmosis in Western and Central Europe Veterinarian, University Doctor, University researcher, Professor in Parasitology at the Veterinary Faculty of the University of Munich. After working for about 10 years on internal parasites, particularly those of ruminants, Kurt reoriented his Department towards the study of vectors and vector-borne disease, with a special focus on Germany. Kurt is the author of several publications on forest ticks and the diseases they transmit as well as fleas and diseases they transmit to animals and man.

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6th MERIAL SYMPOSIUM ON PARASITOSIS & ARTHOPOD-BORNE DISEASES
April 9th-11th, 2008 Tunis, Tunisia

Pascal DELAUNAY (Human parasitology and Exotic Diseases, Nice hospital, France) Risk of new human exotic diseases in Europe – Example of Aedes albopictus Medical Doctor, University Doctor, Professor of Parasitology and Tropical Diseases in the Parasitology Department of the Central Hospital in Nice and in the Faculty of Medicine of Nice. For several years Pascal has been interested in medical entomology which is the study of diseases caused by arthropods in man either directly (sting, evenomization, parasitism like mange mites, lice) or indirectly (through the transmission of pathogenic agents, like in malaria, Dengue fever, chikungunya). He is one of the very few medical Doctors who are also entomologists! He is currently studying the appearance in France of species of mosquitoes of tropical origin which can transmit or cause certain human diseases in France. Bernard DAVOUST (French Army Health Services, Toulon, France) Emergence of Vector-Borne Zoonoses in the Mediterranean Basin: A Focus on Rickettsiosis sensu stricto Veterinarian and Veterinarian Biologist in Chief, General of the Health Division of the French Army For over 10 years, Bernard Davoust has been focusing on animal and human vector-borne diseases, and particularly zoonoses and common diseases. Thanks to the presence of French troops in Africa, the Middle East and French overseas territories, Bernard has been able to study the risk of human infestation and especially the possible use of certain pathogenic agents in a military or terrorist context. He is currently coordinating a French survey on ticks and has organised the collection of ticks from all over France on a regular basis (every other week). Henri-Jean Boulouis (Microbiology, Alfort Veterinary School, France) Vectorial competence of Ixodes ticks. Focus on Bartonella. Veterinarian, University Doctor, University Researcher, Professor in Microbiology, at the Veterinary School of Maison Alfort (Paris) Has been interested for several years now in a specific group of bacteria, the bartonella family, which cause various diseases in man or animals. Coordinates a research unit known as “Vectorised Pathogenic Agents” which is particularly competent in molecular biology. He has published several articles on the diagnostic and the identification of pathogens by the new tools of molecular biology. Since 2001 he has participated in several surveys on this subject working from samples from patients but also directly from the vectors themselves (mosquitoes, flies, ticks, fleas).

Robert Farkas (Veterinary Faculty, Budapest, Hungary) The Importance of Fleas and Ticks in Central Europe: The Hungarian Example Veterinarian, University Doctor, University Researcher, Professor in Parasitology in the Veterinary Faculty of Budapest.. Robert Farkas is an epidemiological specialist in parasite caused disease as observed in Eastern Europe. He set up a Molecular Epidemiological Department which has been monitoring change in Eastern European countries and particularly Hungary over recent years. Richard WALL (University, Bristol, UK) Entomological challenges for Northern countries University Doctor in Entomology, Professor of Parasitology at the Faculty of Science of Bristol University. UK Richard Wall is one of the pioneers in parasite modelling, especially in production animals (sheep & cattle). He has also demonstrated the validity of the models by parallel field studies. He is a wellrecognised entomologist in the UK. He is particularly interested in the risk of the appearance of new diseases in the UK from continental Europe.

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