S P E A K E R S    P R E S E N T A T I O N S

#1 TITLE: Are the current prevention methods of canine Dirofilaria infections sufficient to protect humans from zoonotic infections?
AUTHOR: Prof. Claudio GENCHI, DVM, PhD
AFFILIATE: Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Milan, Italy
Amongst mosquito-transmitted nematodes with zoonotic potential, Dirofilaria immitis and Dirofilaria repens (Spirurida, Onchocercidae) play a significant role from the public health perspective.
Dirofilaria immitis causes a severe disease (heartworm disease, HW) in dogs and other carnivores and occasionally infects humans (McCall et al, 2008), while D. repens usually causes a non-pathogenic subcutaneous infection in dogs and it is the main agent of human dirofilariosis (Genchi et al, 2017).
#2 TITLE: Alveolar echinococcosis in Belgium (1999-2018): a public health concern
AUTHOR: Prof. Bertrand LOSSON, DVM; PhD; Dipl EVPC
AFFILIATE: Department of Infectious and Parasitic Diseases, University of Liège, Belgium
Alveolar echinococcosis (AE) is a rare but potentially lethal zoonose due to the larval stage of the cestode Echinococcus multilocularis. The sylvatic life cycle is based on the intervention of the red fox (Vulpes vulpes) as final host and rodents as intermediate hosts. In a domestic life cycle dogs ans cats may pl ay the role of final hosts.
Humans are aberrant hosts who are contaminated by the oro-faecal route. In man the metacestodes proliferate in the liver and are responsible for an invasive lesion. Metastases are possible (lungs, nervous central system, surrenals, spleen, bones, soft tissues…).
#3 TITLE: Leishmania and the situation in Greece/Balkans
AUTHOR: Prof. Smaragda SOTIRAKI, DVM, PhD Diplom EVPC
AFFILIATE: Hellenic Agricultural Organisation-Demeter, Thessaloniki, Greece
Leishmaniosis (or leishmaniasis) consists of a complex of vector-borne mammalian diseases caused by protozoans of the genus Leishmania. The leishmanioses affect man and domestic and wild animals worldwide causing visceral, cutaneous and mucocutaneous forms of the disease. Most transmission cycles are zoonotic, involving reservoir hosts such as rodents, marsupials, edentates, monkeys, domestic dogs and wild canids. Approximately 350 million people are at risk of contracting the disease and an estimated 1.6 million new cases occur annually. The disease mainly affects poor people in Africa, Asia and Latin America, and is associated with malnutrition, population migration, poor residency conditions, frail immune system and lack of resources. Clinical manifestations range from cutaneous ulcers to systemic multiorgan disease.
#4 TITLE: Prevention of congenital toxoplasmosis worldwide (outside Europe), with a focus on “emerging” countries: needs, strategies, biological tests
AFFILIATE: Grenoble University Hospital and Medicine Faculty, France
Congenital toxoplasmosis has been the topic of numerous research works and publications for decades, some countries being more involved in the field than others. Epidemiology, clinical features, and prevention of toxoplasmosis have been deeply analyzed and, to date, medical doctors and patients can rely on a large amount of data in order to manage the disease in mother and child.
#5 TITLE: Toxoplasmosis from the meat to humans
AUTHOR: Assoc. Prof. Christelle POMARES, MD, PhD
AFFILIATE: University of Nice Sophia Antipolis, France
Toxoplasma gondii parasites are obligate intracellular apicomplexans that can infect virtually all warm-blooded animals; felids are definitive hosts. The most common sources of human infection are ingestion of tissue cysts in undercooked meat or food or water contaminated with oocysts shed by felids and transplacental transmission. Acquired toxoplasmosis in immunocompetent humans is frequently asymptomatic but is associated with cervical or occipital lymphadenopathy in ≈10% of patients. Severe or fatal outcomes for immunocompetent patients have been attributed to the virulence of specific T. gondii genotypes.
#6 TITLE: Do we need to worry about latent toxoplasmosis? T. gondii infection and mental disorders
AFFILIATE: Institute for Medical Research, University of Belgrade, Serbia
The obligately intracellular protozoan Toxoplasma gondii infects approximately 30% of the global population, and although it causes overt clinical disease in only a small proportion of those infected, the neurotropism of the parasite characterized by long-term, possible life-long presence of the parasite within the brain provides opportunity for manipulation of the host’s behavior. Indeed, experimentally infected rodents have been shown to no longer fear cats (rendering them easier prey and thus increasing the parasite’s chances of sexual reproduction).