The Belgian Society for Parasitology (established on 10 February 1962 in Antwerp) and the Belgian Society of Protozoology merged on 19 February 2013 to form the Belgian Society for Parasitology and Protistology (BSPP). The aim of the new BSPP is to promote collaboration between researchers in Parasitology and Protistology at national and international level and support young scientists in the development of their career.


A key activity of the BSPP is the annual scientific meeting which is an opportunity to share research results and network with members of the Belgian parasitology and protistology community. Postgraduate research students are especially encouraged to present their work and an award is given annually for the best student presentation. 


Boehringer Ingelheim Award: announcement



On behalf of the BSPP board, it is a pleasure to announce our upcoming BSPP 2021 scientific meeting on Tuesday 30th November 2021. The meeting venue will be at campus “klooster van de Grauwzusters” (Lange Sint-Annastraat 7, 2000 Antwerpen), at walking distance from Antwerp Central station. Registration and abstract submission can be done at https://www.bspp.be/bspp-meetings/2021-in-antwerp/


Although the meeting is local and with a relatively modest number of participants, we will keep evaluating the evolution of the COVID-19 situation.

Boehringer-Ingelheim Parasitology award 2020 to Bart Everts


Immunologist Bart Everts from the Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC) receives the Boehringer-Ingelheim prize for his research on immune responses against parasitic infections. Everts has focused on unraveling how our immune system recognizes and responds to infections with parasitic worms.


Infections with parasitic worms affect more than 2 billion people worldwide, especially in tropical and sub-tropical countries. Parasitic worms represent a very diverse group of pathogens that differ greatly in life cycle, size, and route of infection. Despite this, the immune response mounted against this diverse group of parasites is surprisingly uniform: the so-called Type 2 immune response that can protect against these infections. However, exactly how our immune system activates Type 2 immune responses in response to parasitic worm infections is unclear. Everts' research aims to unravel this.


Type 2 Immune Responses to Schistosomiasis

Everts has made important contributions to identifying the molecules secreted by the parasitic worm Schistosoma that the immune system recognizes to trigger a Type 2 immune response. In addition, he has shown how this exactly works at the molecular level. Also on the host side, studies by Everts have provided new insights. For example, he discovered which immune cells recognize these worms and trigger the Type 2 immune response, but he also identified cells that counteract this response. In these studies he made use of in vitro cell cultures, animal models as well as field studies. With these insights, Everts hopes to find new leads to modulate Type 2 immune responses, which may be relevant not only for drug development against parasitic worm infections, but also for allergies that are characterized by the same type of immune response.


Current research

In his current research, Everts focuses, among other things, on identifying the metabolic pathways that immune cells use to mount Type 2 and regulatory immune responses. In recent years it has become clear that how immune cells function is largely determined by their metabolic properties. By inhibiting or enhancing certain metabolic processes in immune cells associated with Type 2 or regulatory immune responses, Everts hopes to be able to direct these immune responses. This could hold promise as a new therapeutic strategy to treat inflammatory diseases in which this types of immune responses are not working properly anymore




Due to the global COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic, the annual BSPP scientific meeting will be canceled. We are currently looking into alternative meeting dates later during the year.

Belgian Society of Parasitology & Protistology Annual scientific meeting - 20th of March 2020

The Belgian Society for Parasitology & Protistology is holding its annual scientific meeting on the 20th of March 2020 at the University of Antwerp, city campus: “klooster van de Grauwzusters”. For more information about registration and abstract submission please visit the website here.


Boehringer-Ingelheim Parasitology Award 2019 for Luc Coffeng


Infectious disease modeller Luc Coffeng of the Erasmus MC University Medical Center Rotterdam has been awarded the Boehringer-Ingelheim Award for his research on neglected tropical diseases. Coffeng works on mathematical models that inform public health policy in resource-limited settings, as well as the optimal design of field studies and clinical studies.


Neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) are a group of tropical infectious diseases that affect over one billion people globally and are mostly prevalent among the poorest of the poor, among whom they perpetuate a cycle of disease and poverty. The research performed by Coffeng aims to inform public health policy on how NTDs can be best controlled or eliminated in resource-limited settings. For instance, his work on intestinal worm infections and visceral leishmaniasis has contributed toward the formulation of new World Health Organisation targets and guidelines for control of these infections by 2030.


Mathematical models of tropical infectious disease transmission

Coffeng has provided a significant contribution to the development of mathematical models that predict how interventions affect the transmission of tropical infectious diseases like intestinal worm infection and visceral leishmaniasis. In his models, Coffeng captures how parasites are transmitted between hosts via the environment or via insects, and how individuals participate in public health interventions. For instance, Coffeng predicted how a change from annual to six-monthly treatment of entire communities (regardless of an individual’s infection status) can lead to control and even elimination of river blindness. Coffeng’s model predictions aim to inform World Health Organisation policy and guidelines, as well as the design of field studies into the control of tropical infectious diseases.


Current studies


In his current work, Coffeng aims to investigate how mass treatment may help to eliminate parasitic worm infections in resource-limited settings. Using mathematical models, he hopes to predict the impact of human mobility and evolution of drug resistance on prospects of elimination, and how achievement of elimination can be evaluated. In addition, Coffeng works on mathematical models for the optimal design of drug and vaccine trials for malaria and hookworm infection, in collaboration with Radboud University Medical Center Nijmegen and Leiden University Medical Center. Ultimately, he hopes these activities will accelerate the control and elimination of tropical infectious diseases. 





Boehringer Ingelheim Award for Parasitological Research  

4th International Conference on Non Tsetse Transmitted Animal Trypanosomosis

COMBAR Training School




In this 3-day training school, participants will be introduced to principles and practices of research in socio-economic aspects of animal health management and of helminth infections and AR in particular. More info

The BSP 2019 Spring Meeting 

The 2019 BSP Spring meeting is for the first time running as a joint event with the Belgian Society of Parasitology and Protistology and the Netherlands Society for Parasitology. Members from all three Societies will be able to benefit from reduced registration rates.


The meeting will have One Health as an embedded framework running through the four featured subject streams: Cell Biology, Host-Pathogen Interactions, Human Interventions, Ecology and Ecosystems and a workshop in Science Communication.


Visit the website at: https://www.myeventflo.com/event.asp?evID=2226



Dont' forget to register for the BSPP 2021 scientific meeting on 

Tuesday 30th November 2021. The meeting venue will be at campus “klooster van de Grauwzusters” (Lange Sint-Annastraat 7, 2000 Antwerpen), at walking distance from Antwerp Central station. Registration and abstract submission can be done at https://www.bspp.be/bspp-meetings/2021-in-antwerp/

The 2019 BSPP travel Grant was awarded to Dorien Mabille Laboratory of Microbiology, Parasitology and Hygiene (LMPH) to attend the BSP/BSPP/NVP Spring Meeting in Manchester, UK, 15-17 April 2019. Read about her experience here.

The 2019 Avia-Gis travel Grant was awarded to Dimitri Bulte Laboratory of Microbiology, Parasitology and Hygiene (LMPH) to attend the BSP/BSPP/NVP Spring Meeting in Manchester, UK, 15-17 April 2019. Read about his experience here.

The 2019 Zoetis travel Grant was awarded to Lieselotte Van Bockstal Laboratory of Microbiology, Parasitology and Hygiene (LMPH) to attend the BSP/BSPP/NVP Spring Meeting in Manchester, UK, 15-17 April 2019. Read about her experience here.

Internist-infectioloog Meta Roestenberg van het Leids Universitair Medisch Centrum (LUMC) ontvangt de Boehringer-Ingelheim prijs voor haar onderzoek in de translationele parasitologie. Roestenberg werkt aan experimentele klinische studies die moeten leiden tot een snellere en goedkopere ontwikkeling van nieuwe medicijnen en vaccins. More info.

The 2018 Zoetis travel Grant was awarded to Irina Matetovici  (Institute of Tropical Medicine Antwerp) to attend the The European Congress of Entomology  (Naples,Italy), 2-6 July, 2018. Read about her experience here.

Guy Caljon (University of Antwerp) received the Merial Award on 18 May 2017 in Utrecht for his work on insect-transmitted parasitic infections. More info.

Eline Eberhardt (University of Antwerp) was awarded the Avia-GIS award for the best presentation at the Joint spring meeting of the Belgian Society of Parasitology & Protistology (BSPP) and the Netherlands Society of Parasitology (NVP) on 20th May 2016.

Title of the presentation: Molecular detection of infection homogeneity and impact of miltefosine treatment in a Syrian Golden hamster model of Leishmania donovani  and L. infantum visceral leishmaniasis. 

The 2017 Zoetis travel Grant was awarded to Franck Dumetz (Institute of Tropical Medicine Antwerp) to attend the WorldLeish6 conference, Toledo (Spain), May 16-20, 2017.

Read about his experience here.