Write up about the Conference
WAAVP 2013 brought together parasitologists from around the world to present and discuss the latest advances in their research as well as important issues relevant to parasitology. WAAVP 2013 covered a broad and growing field of basic and applied parasitology. It was hosted by the Australian Society of Parasotologist and co-sponsored by prestigious companies susch as Novartis, Merial, Pfizer, and Zoetis. The major themes included Animal Production and Food Security, One World Health, Companion Animals (challenges to the future) and New Approaches on Prophylactics and Therapeutics. Subthemes were Aquaculture and Wild Capture Fisheries, Biosecurity, Cell Biology and life cycles, Climate Change, and Conservation and Wildlife Parasitism. The Plenary lectures and symposia were delivered by renowned Parasitologist from USA, UK, Australia, and Southast Asia. The Perth Conference provided the opportunity to look to the future as WAAVP celebrated its 50th Anniversary Foundation this year.
WAAVP 2013 was attended by about 700 delegates from all over the world. It was held in the most readily accessible location to South East Asia which made it easier for colleagues from this region to attend the meeting and join other delegates from Europe, North America, Asia and Australia. Overall, it provided a good venue for scientific research discussion and collaboration.
Feedback on paper presented
1. Oral Paper: “Centrocestus amatus meteceracriae (Digenea: Heterophyidae) included changes in fish host behavior and susceptibility to pradation” (Oral Presentation)
The oral presentation was scheduled 3:45-4:00 pm on August 27, 2013. It lasted for 20 minutes (15-mins presentation and 5-mins question and answered portion). In the audience were people from the laboratory of Dr. C.P. Goater of the Department of Biological Sciences, University of Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada, who have been working on parasite and the behavior of hosts. Also, Dr. Valtonen of the Department of Biological and Environmental Science, University of Jyväskylä, finland was there to listen my talk. His laboratory has also on parasite and the behavior of fish hosts. Both laboratories have produced voluminous publications on ost mnipulation by parasites. Questions regarding the mechanism of host behavior alteration due to the parasites were clarified in my presentation. They made some suggestions for possible future research work to determine mechanisms of host manipulation by parasites.
2. Poster Paper: “Soil contamination with Toxocara spp. Eggs (Nematoda) in selected towns of Laguna, Philippines’ (poster display)
Poster authors were asked to stand with their poster during their allotted poster session. Due to the large volume of posters, presentations took over place over two evenings. Mine was scheduled on August 27, 2013 from 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm. Apart from the static poster, mine was also displayed as an E-Poster for the duration of the conference, but I was still required to display posters as a static poster on a poster board for the duration of the conference and attended the static poster presentations. There were a number of questions regarding the accuracy and specificity of the method done for isolation of parasites from the soil. Overall, its was appreciated.
Future directions of research presented
The mechanisms of host manipulation by parasite could be an interesting venture for future research work. The changes in hormones and neurochemicals could be tested between parasite-infected and uninfected fish. Also, other physiological changes in fish hosts could be tested, such as changes in oxygen level, changes in optomotor behavior, etc. to assess exactly the mechanism of host behavioral alteration caused by the parasite. Host manipulation by parasite is relatively a new field of research in Parasitology and more experiments should be conducted to have a pool of data to support this hypothesis.
Potential foreign collaborators
- Dr. C.P. Goater – Department of Biological Sciences, University of Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada
- Dr. Valtonen – Department of Biological and Environmental Science, University of Jyväskylä, Finland
– I had personally talked to these Professors and they were very generous to share their materials (e.g. recent publications) on host manipulation by parasites. I was also offered to contribute to their book writing on Parasite and the Behavior of Animals.
– Possible accommodation for my graduate students for short-term research fellowship in their laboratories.
Other important contacts and insights
Obihiro State University, Japan (Department of Protozoology and Parasitology) – for possible post doc research collaboration.
The Philippines, compared to other ASEAN countries, did not fare well in terms of the number of delegates in WAAVP 2013. I was the lone delegate from the Philippines, while other neighboring ASEAN countries fared better. Thailand had 15 delegates, Malaysia had 7, Vietnam and Indonesia had 3 each. With the current efforts towards ASEAN integration by 2015, critical analysis on the performance of Filipino scientists (academicians and researchers), in light of global scientific community, is necessary to provide basis for grants and programs envisioned to harmonized and push our lagging nation to progress.
Short write-up of one’s participation (to be used to feature/publicize the grantee’s participation in the conference)
The UP Research Dissemination Grant completed their evaluation for the third quarter of 2013. One of the recipients of this year’s award is Dr. Vachel Gay V. Paller from the Animal Biology Division of the Institute of Biological Sciences, University of the Philippines Los Baños. Dr. Paller requested funds to attend the 24th International Conference of the World Association for the Advancement of Veterinary Parasitology, August 25-29, 2013, in Perth Exhibit and Convention Center in Perth, Australia where she presented papers entitled “Centrocestus armatus meteceracriae (Digenea: Heterophyidae) induced changes in fish host behavior and susceptibility to pradation” (Oral Presentation) and “Soil contamination with Toxocara spp. Eggs (Nematoda0 in selected town of Laguna, Philippines” (poster display).
The conference WAAVP 2013 covered a broad and growing field of basic and applied parasitology. The major themes included Animal Production and Food Security, One World Health, Companion Animals (challenges to the future) and New Approaches on Prophylactics and Therapeutics. Subthemes were Aquaculture and Wild Capture Fishheries, Biosecurity, Cell Biology and Life cycles, Climate Chance and Conservation and Wildlife Parasitism. The Perth conference provided a good venue for scientific discussion and build connections with the international scientific community, and a window towards ASEAN integration by 2015.