The Canadian Network for NTDs at ICOPA 2022!

On the 21-26 August, the International Congress of Parasitology (ICOPA) 2022 for the World Federation of Parasitologists took place in Copenhagen, and two Canadian Network for NTDs Steering Committee members – Dr. Emily Jenkins and Dr. Momar Ndao, took part. The theme of the conference was “Living with Parasites.” Through this theme, the stories of battling against devastating diseases caused by parasites as well as the stories of how hosting parasites can be of benefit were told, and interactions between hosts and parasites shape our evolution was explored. Dr. Emily Jenkins said of the conference

“It was humbling to see how many parasitic NTDs (both helminths and protozoans) are still a major global health problem, but also inspiring to see that there are significant research efforts aimed at better understanding and managing these NTDS. There is an increasing momentum on implementation research for NTDs.”

ICOPA has a broad parasitological audience. Dr. Jenkin’s research group presented on a range of topics, including a new circumpolar species of lice on arctic fox (Kayla), equine roundworms and resistance (Toni), coccidian parasites in belugas harvested by Inuit (Adrian), and zoonotic muscle dwelling roundworms in wolves (Cody).  Cody, having done previous work on Trypanosoma cruzi (Chagas disease), also attended some very interesting sessions on this NTD as well. Dr. Jenkins presented on the zoonotic tapeworm Echinococcus multilocularis on behalf of her PhD student, Temitope Kolapo.  This neglected, not-so-tropical disease is emerging in dogs, wildlife, and people in both Canada and the USA, and reinforces the truly global nature of NTDs as a public health problem that we also find in our own backyard.

Drs. Momar Ndao and Martin Olivier – a member of the Canadian Network, led the successful bid for ICOPA 2026 to be held in Montreal. The proposed theme for the next congress is “Parasitic infections in a changing world.” Dr. Momar Ndao, member of the Executive Board of the World Federation of Parasitologists since 2014, was also nominated the 1st Vice-President of the federation. Congratulations, and we look forward to engaging in ICOPA 2026!

Photo on the left: Drs. Ndao and Olivier promoting Montreal’s candidacy for ICOPA2026. Photo on the Right: Jenkin’s research group members at the Bella Center in Copenhagen, from L to R: Kayla Buhler (PhD Candidate), Emily Jenkins (Professor and DVM), Toni Anne Saworski (MSc student), Adrian Hernandez Ortiz (PhD candidate and DVM), and Cody Malone (PhD student), all from University of Saskatchewan.