BSP/BSPP/NVP Spring Meeting, Manchester, UK, 15-17 April 2019 


Dorien Mabille

Laboratory of Microbiology, Parasitology and Hygiene (LMPH),  

University of Antwerp, Belgium 


The BSP spring meeting is a yearly event gathering scientists in the broad field of parasitology ranging from helminths to protozoa. This year’s meeting was held at the University of Manchester and was, for the first time, a joint event together with the Belgian Society of Parasitology and Protistology (BSPP) and the Dutch Society for Parasitology (NVP). As a member of the BSPP this was an excellent opportunity to get to know researchers form the other parasitological societies. The three-day scientific program included four main topics; cell biology, ecology and ecosystems, human interventions and host-pathogen interactions. As many of the presentations were run in parallel, the only difficulty of this meeting was choosing which one was the most interesting. My PhD project includes both topics on early immune responses upon an infection with African Trypanosomes and the development and mode of action of novel antitrypanosomal compounds, so I mainly attended the sessions on human intervention, cell biology and host-pathogen interactions.

I was selected to give an oral presentation entitled; “Assessing the role of neutrophils in vector-transmitted Trypanosoma brucei infections”. It was my first oral presentation regarding the immunoparasitological part of my PhD project and I was very excited (and nervous) to get feedback from fellow scientists in this field of research. During the rest of the conference, I was able to attend many keynote lectures and short presentation on African Trypanosomes, a parasite which was well-represented at this meeting. I especially liked the presentations of Philippe Bastin on the flagellum length control during the trypanosome life cycle and the one of Markus Engstler on the development of tsetse-transmitted trypanosomes in advanced human skin tissue models.

Finally, I would like to thank the BSPP for awarding me this travel grant. This conference was an excellent opportunity to broaden my knowledge on African Trypanosomes and interact and get feedback from other researchers.