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ITM News

The Institute of Tropical Medicine in Antwerp is honoured to host the 13th International Meeting Molecular Epidemiology and Evolutionary Genetics of Infectious Diseases (MEEGID XIII)

Man’s intervention in the environment is not always harmless. Over 200 million people worldwide suffer from schistosomiasis, a tropical disease caused by the Schistosoma mansoni flatworm. The worm infects mainly children from the poorer areas of Sub-Saharan Africa. Until the 80s, Northwest Senegal was spared. However, the construction of two dams to improve agriculture provoked a severe epidemic.

After the Ebola crisis, other viruses are a hot research topic again. In two companion studies published simultaneously in the Journal of Infectious Diseases, scientists of the Institute of Tropical Medicine in Antwerp (ITM) together with colleagues from the US, Peru, Bolivia, France and Switzerland, show that some parasites of the Amazonian jungle are infected with virus that helps them survive treatments.

The Superior Health Council (SHC) has given a positive advice regarding the conditions in which decentralised and demedicalised HIV testing for risk groups in Belgium may be performed. In the near future, HIV screening can be carried out by non-medical personnel outside of a traditional medical setting providing they have received appropriate training and the screening complies with strict quality requirements. The law related to this type of screening will soon be reviewed.

Many holidaymakers venture to other European countries or to one of the countries across the Mediterranean (the Middle East and North Africa) at this time of year. Even though these destinations are quite nearby, the health risk is often no smaller than when travelling to far-away places.

Head of Virology Prof. Kevin Ariën has been awarded the annual prize for Science Communication by the Royal Flemish Academy of Belgium for Sciences and Arts (KVAB).

Are you a journalist from Africa, Asia or Latin America and do you want to deepen your understanding of tropical medicine and global health issues? Talented print, broadcast, and online journalists are invited to apply for a Journalist in Residence Programme at the Institute of Tropical Medicine in Antwerp.

A new study has shown that the Ebola virus is now evolving more slowly than previously assumed. With thousands of lives lost to the virus in West Africa over the last year and a half, this is good news for those currently working on vaccines. Five Belgians were among the scientists working on the study, which has just been published in Nature.

Since May 2015, the MERS-coronavirus has spread to the Republic of Korea (South Korea).

The medical journal awarded the Galenus Prize for the most innovative medicine of the year to Janssen. The product Sirturo® (Bedaquiline), developed by Janssen, is the first new medicine in forty years to treat tuberculosis (BT).