In April 2015, CRIPES went to Liverpool host of the 53rd annual British Society for Parasitology Spring meeting (and home of our own Jo Lello). The focus was on Neglected Tropical Diseases; such a commonly used phrase amongst parasitologists but it only appeared in the literature in 2002 (Trouiller et al. 2002 Lancet). We greatly enjoyed the Plenary sessions with some useful online resources highlighted (e.g. https://www.malariagen.net) and it was particularly nice to hear former Research Lead at Cardiff, Prof Janet Hemingway discuss the Gates Consortium Vector Control Programme, an ambitious enterprise to develop public health insecticides from scratch rather than rely on insecticides from agriculture industry. Holistic control programmes to include: a plan for drug resistance management before new drugs are released; quality control of nets as so many poor fakes out in the field; new tools to quantify the quantity of insecticide applied; more efficient application of insecticides. The Editor at BugBitten has written an interesting blog on the NTD side of the meeting, including a report on the Public debate about Ebola hosted by Peter Sissions
Having spent an enjoyable half day exploring Liverpool (including the Museum where we encountered a model ant infected with the notorious mind controlling parasite Dicrocoelium dendriticum), we spent the rest of the meeting listening and participating in the ecology sessions, partly organized by our Parasites and Pathogens Special Interest Group (if you are interested in ecological parasitology – please sign up to the group – it is free!). We particularly enjoyed Prof Mike Begon’s Plenary talk explaining his recent work on small mammal parasites, and of course then there was the P&P SIG social event (thankfully no photos of that event).
Next year the Ecology Theme at the BSP Spring Meeting 2016 (at Imperial College, London) will be an even stronger event – come and join us there.