University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > Departmental Seminar Programme, Department of Veterinary Medicine > Vector-borne helminths of zoonotic concern in Europe: emerging or neglected?

Vector-borne helminths of zoonotic concern in Europe: emerging or neglected?

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Presently, 45% of the total human population of Europe, as well as their domestic and companion animals are exposed to the risk of vector-borne helminths (VBH) causing diseases. A plethora of intrinsic biological and extrinsic environmental factors affect the relationship among helminths, vectors and animal hosts, in a constantly changing environment. Although, canine dirofilarioses by Dirofilaria immitis and Dirofilaria repens are key examples of the success of VBH spreading into non-endemic areas, another example is represented by Thelazia callipaeda eyeworm, an emergent pathogen of dogs, cats and humans in several regions of Europe. The recent finding of Onchocerca lupi causing canine and human infestation in Europe and overseas renders the picture of VBH even more complicated. Similarly, tick-transmitted filarioids of the genus Cercopithifilaria infesting the skin of dogs was recently shown to be widespread in Europe. Although for many of the VBH above there is an increasing number of scientific data on their distribution at national level, the overall impact of the diseases they cause on dogs and humans is not fully recognised in many aspects. The talk will focus on the reasons underlying the increasing trend in distribution of VBH in Europe and discusses the diagnostic and control strategies currently available.

This talk is part of the Departmental Seminar Programme, Department of Veterinary Medicine series.

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