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Iranian Society for Parasitology(ISP)general Meeting(5 March)

This meeting was held for election of the new managing team of ISP for 3 years.

The meeting started at 9.35 am and finished at 1 pm.At the beginning the past Board gave the reports about their 3 years works and programs.

56 of Iranian parasitologists(less than expected) attended at this meeting.There were 13 Candidates for the General Board and 3 Candidates for the inspector of the board.

The new Board members include:

1-Rokni,Mohammad Bagher(49votes)

2-Edrisian,Gholamhosein(48votes)

3-Eslami,Ali(42votes)

4-Rezaiian,Mostafa(42votes)

5-Keshavarz,Hosein(42votes)

6-Dalimi asl,Gholamhosein(32votes)

7-Rahbari,Sadegh(23votes)

8-Khazan,Hooshang(Inspector)(26votes)

9-Memar,Ahmadreza(Substitute)(21votes)

10-Razmjoo,Elham(Substitute)(16votes)

11-Mowlavi,Gholamreza(Substitute)(17votes)

The new Board will work for 3 years.

A mechanical device has been developed which can reduce infections of I. multifiliis on farmed trout by ~99%

University of Stirling:   The cilated protozoan Ichthyophthirius multifiliis or “Ich” is recognised as one of the most pathogenic diseases of wild and cultured freshwater fish; infections establishing in hatchery systems proliferate quickly and result in mortalities if left unregulated. While work within the Parasitology Group has investigated host-parasite interactions and the efficacy of a range of anti-protozoocidal drugs, attention now focuses on finding environmentally safe, non-chemical alternative mechanisms to controlling infections. Collaboration with Pisces Engineering has resulted in the co-development of a mechanical device (SystemIch) which removes unwanted parasite cysts from the bottom of commercial trout raceways. The primary mechanical device which consists of a special suction head connected to a pump was used to vacuum the bottom of hatchery raceways. Field trials at a commercial site over a three month period reduced the number of trophonts subsequently establishing on fish by 99.4% (p<0.0001) (view Aquaculture News article [pdf]). Current research explores mechanisms to control infections in pond culture and to explore means of reducing the industry’s dependency on chemotherapeutants by assessing the utility of natural products as possible replacements. The potential of the bioflavonoids, a large number of biologically active compounds that are ubiquitous in plants, are under investigation. Their efficacy against a broad range of bacterial fish pathogens and parasitic fish fungi is promising and it is hoped they will form part of the arsenal in future farm disease management strategies.

Glaxo malaria vaccine protects babies, children

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – An experimental malaria vaccine is the most promising yet, protecting up to 65 percent of infants from infection in two studies in Africa, researchers reported on Monday.

Separate tests in Kenya and Tanzania showed GlaxoSmithKline’s vaccine called RTS,S could protect babies and toddlers from infection with malaria and could prevent disease even in those already infected.

While the vaccine is far from perfect, it is the best yet against the mosquito-borne parasite, the researchers agreed. They said they would begin phase III clinical tests, the last stage before seeking regulatory approval, next year.

“Even a partially effective vaccine has the potential to save hundreds of thousands of lives each year,” said Christian Loucq, director of the nonprofit PATH Malaria Vaccine Initiative, which helped to conduct the study.

“We are one important step closer to the date when malaria will join diseases such as smallpox and polio, which have been either eliminated or controlled through vaccines.”

The World Health Organization estimates malaria killed 881,000 people and infected 247 million worldwide in 2006. Some malaria experts say those numbers underestimate the problem.

The disease is especially hard to fight as people are continually infected by mosquitoes throughout their lives. The tiny parasites get into the blood and live and reproduce inside the body, causing fever and sometimes deadly brain infections.

Dr. Salim Abdulla of the Bagamoyo Research and Training Center in Tanzania and colleagues tested 340 infants, giving them three doses of the RTS,S vaccine or three doses of hepatitis B vaccine.

The malaria vaccine protected 65 percent of infants from infection with malaria during the six months of the trial, they reported in the New England Journal of Medicine and told a conference on tropical diseases in New Orleans.

YEARS OF EFFICACY

“We are very confident that the efficacy of the vaccine extends for several years,” Joe Cohen of GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals in Belgium told the briefing.

An earlier study had shown the vaccine could protect children for at least 18 months.

The children also got vaccines against diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough and Haemophilus influenzae B as part of a World Health Organization childhood vaccination program, and the vaccines all worked well, the study showed.

“I see the effects of malaria in my country firsthand,” Abdulla told the briefing. “So these results are very exciting and give me a new hope of seeing a first generation malaria vaccine available … in the near future.”

In a second trial, Dr. Ally Olutu of the KEMRI-Wellcome Trust Collaborative Research Center in Kenya and colleagues vaccinated 894 children aged 5 to 17 months with three doses of either a slightly different formulation of the malaria vaccine or a rabies vaccine.
The found clinical episodes of malaria fell by 53 percent.

While this is slightly different from complete protection from infection, the researchers said the point is to protect children from disease, and they felt the results were comparable.

“It is, indeed, a hopeful beginning,” William Collins and John Barnwell, malaria experts at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, wrote in a commentary published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

They noted that the vaccine was not yet tested in regions with the most intense malaria transmission.

“Affliction With Little Dragons” Could Be the First Eradicated Human Parasite

The nasty parasite known as Guinea worm that has plagued humans since the days of the ancient Egyptians is on the verge of being completely eradicated, former president Jimmy Carter declared on Friday. The Carter Foundation has led the effort against Guinea worm, which could soon be remembered as the second disease to ever be wiped out by human efforts, smallpox being the first. There have been fewer than 5,000 cases of the disease in six African countries this year, and on Friday Carter announced two new grants dedicated to wiping out the final hotspots: The British government has pledged $15 million, while the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will contribute $40 million.

Guinea Worm is one of the worst parasites you can get. The worms burrow inside of you, grow to almost three feet long, are incredibly painful, and finally pop out of the skin and have to be reeled out, inch by inch, over many days [The New York Times blog]. The parasites have been found in Egyptian mummies, and the official name for the infection, dracunculiasis, references an archaic-sounding pain: it’s Latin for “affliction with little dragons.” Doctors have no vaccines or medicine with which to combat the parasite; instead they rely on prevention to keep people from getting infected. However, humans are the only host for the parasite, so ending outbreaks in human populations would destroy the worm forever.

Guinea worm has been found across Africa from Mali to Ethiopia with most current cases in Sudan. Only 4,410 cases were reported worldwide during the first ten months of this year, with 80% found in Sudan [BBC News]. The Carter Center says that when the eradication campaign began in 1986 there were 3.5 million cases in 20 nations. While the enormous progress made thus far is encouraging, Carter Center official Craig Withers says the final hotspots pose a particular challenge. “It is a question of education…. Our staff are having to wade through swamps, sometimes up to their necks, to reach remote villages in Southern Sudan” [BBC News].

The disease is caused by drinking water infected with the larvae of the Guinea worm, which then grow into maturity and mate within the human body cavity. The female then burrows outward towards the skin and emerges in a painful blister; traditionally infected people run to the water to cool the burning pain, which allows the worm to release a new generation of larvae. Educating people to filter water before drinking, drilling wells for clean water and treating infected water with chemicals eliminates contagion. Filter materials have been given out, along with drinking straws with built-in filters that are worn around the neck on a string…. “Once we eliminate it from a particular water hole, it is gone forever,” Carter said [Atlanta Journal-Constitution].