Afrika-Festival 2018 in Tübingen

Africa-Festival 2018 Tübingen

Afrika-Festival 2018

The Afrika-Festival 2018 shall take place in Tübingen from Thursday, 9th, to Sunday 12th of August.

Like during the last festivals, Programme Onchocercoses shall be present to show our research activities in Cameroon. You are invited to visit us in the big tent next to the entrance.


Thursday – Day 1










Friday – Day 2



















Congress of the German Society for Parasitology in Berlin March 2018

The bi-annual meeting of the German Society for Parasitology took place this year in Berlin, from March 21.-23.

Our project was represented by three talks and two posters.


Sevidzem Lendzele and Archile Paguem back in Tübingen



After Christmas, new collaborators came to Tübingen: Sevidzem Lendzele, who had already been here for 3 months in the summer and Archile Paguem, who comes for his 3rd stay.

Sevidzem had worked together with Tübingen Bachelor-student Leif Rauhöft in Ngaoundéré, testing new traps for catching Simulium and other bloodhungry vector flies. (=> see the report of Leif Rauhöft). He now shall identify these flies by classics and molucular gentic techniques and screen them for virusses, they may eventually transmit.

Archile Paguem is focussing on the evaluation of the 3 Tb of sequencing data of the Whole Genome Sequencing (WGS) of 5 different Cameroonian cattle breds (Bos taurus and Bos indicus breeds) we received from CEGAT and analyse in cooperation with the QBIC center.

Also on the pictue is Prof. Elisabeth Bum from Cameroon, the supervosor of PhD-student Babette Abanda (right).

Congratulation to Sevidzem Lendzele!

After his 3-months stay in Tübingen, Sevidzem attended the International Congress of Foot & Mouth-Disease in Seoul, South-Corea, where he presented the result of his studies on the possible role of Stomoxyne flies in the transmission of this virus.

His poster was elected to win the First Price of all posters presented!


He had prepared this poster during his stay in Tübingen and added some impressive scanning electron micro-photographs of the Stomoxys mouhparts and legs, provided by Frau Meinert from Prof’ Oliver Betz group of invertebrate biology.

see the poster:

SEVIDZEM Poster GFRA 2017 modified 5-AR-AE-SL10

Medical Entomology Workshop 2017

From July 31st to August 12, a workshop on methods of medical entomology is going on.

4 Cameroonian students and young professionals attended this course at the Institute of Evolution and Ecology. Together with 7 German counterparts, they focussed on ticks, Simulium black-flies, tabanid and tsetse flies, that are vectors of African diseases of cattle and man. Molecular identification tools, together with classical microscopical techniques were used to identify vectors and parasites.

Dr. Albert Eisenbarth together with Babette Abanda introduced into the molecular methods at the Department of Comparative Zoology, where the experiments were carried out. From Ixodes ticks, collected in the Schönbuch forest, the students isolated DNA, amplified it with specific primers for bacteria and were thus able to identify Borrelia infestations in one of 7 ticks. A prevalence of 15 % of Borrelia is not unusual for this biotope, but recalls the risks of visiting the Schönbuch.

Excursions led to the Hohenzollern castle and the Atomic cellar in Haigerloch – spectacular sites of history and science.Culicid-larvae Tabanid-fly-2 Tick-flags

“The open-minded discussions helped us to better understand the field-work we are carrying out in Cameroon. For example ticks may be potential vectors of trypanosomes” Claudine Henriette Sen Ngomtcho said.


Afrika-Tage in Würzburg 2017

The sad news is that there shall be no Afrika-Festival in Tübingen this year! Instead, Dr. Albert Eisenbarth and Babette Abanda went to Würzburg to present our project there.


Please read their report: Read more

Course of vectorbiology and epidemiology 2017

Fortgeschrittenenkurs Vektorbiology und Epidemiologie 2017

16 students attend the course on vectorbiology and epidemiology in the summer-term 2017. Teaching includes the results of the on-going epidemiological work in Cameroon.

students of vectorbiology and epidemiology 2017

students of vectorbiology and epidemiology 2017

Some of the participants of this course would like to do their practicals in the fieldstation in Cameroon. MSc Babette Guimbang Abanda is overseeing the students dissecting Simulium damnosum flies from Cameroon. Some filarial larvar were found.

Student Rahel Schnell in Ngaoundéré

In November 2016, biology-student Rahel Schnell was in the Prog-Oncho lab to do a practice on Simulium breeding sites around Ngaoundéré. Read her report (in German):

Bericht-Kamerunaufenthalt-Rahel-Schnell-Oktober 2016


Dies universitatis of the University of Tübingen – Presentation of Programme Onchocercoses

Like every semester, the dies universitatis of the university of Tübingen takes place during the first week of the lectures. This time on the 15th of October.

Programme Onchocercoses was present on the Morgenstelle (Hörsaalzentrum) from 14 to 16 hrs and in the Neuen Aula from 18 to 20 hrs.



UT-research-2015-Dies universitatis-RENZ










It was a long day of presentations, from 14 to 20 hrs! And a very interesting experience for all of us.

Thanks to Sophia Stiegler, Francois Korbmacher and Freya Zettl, which just had come back from Cameroon and Babette Abanda, a PhD-student from Cameroon, the set-up of our installation with two microscopes and posters went quickly. We showed parasites from Cameroon and their vectors. The aim was to give an impression of our on-going work in the Programme Onchocercoses fieldstation in Cameroon and to motivate students to join our team.

Dies universitatis 2015 - Morgenstelle-our team






The site for the – only two! – presentations of the Faculty of Natural Sciences had been quiet unfavorably selected in the Hörsaalzentrum on the Morgenstelle. In a place, where it was dark and where only few students passed, mostly in a great hurry between their lectures.

Dies universitatis 2015 - Morgenstelle-5


At the left site, there was the laser-show of the presentation of the Institute of Physics (PD Dr. Sebastian Slama): For better visibility, we had moved to the other, more illuminated site of the floor.




Dies universitatis 2015 - Morgenstelle-our team



However, only very few visitors came – so we were mostly occupied by ourselves, since this was for the first time that the students met after their stay in Cameroon. And there was plenty of time to answer emails!



At 16 hrs, we moved to the Neue Aula, the main university building. There, the Hall was booming of students, visiting the about 100 presentations of the ‘Markt der Möglichkeiten’. From 18 to 20 hrs, we had the occasion to present our field-work in Cameroon, to show parasites and vectors under the microscopes and discuss with students and teachers. This was a great success. A number of students now intend to attend the ‘Cameroon-Seminar’ of Babette Abanda and some were asking to do their practical in Cameroon. We hope that this shall be possible by the funding of the Baden-Württemberg-Stiftung, which is supporting our Africa-German collaboration.

Dies universitatis 2015 - Neue Aula-14 Dies universitatis 2015 - Neue Aula-11 Dies universitatis 2015 - Neue Aula-9 Dies universitatis 2015 - Neue Aula-8 Dies universitatis 2015 - Neue Aula-6 Dies universitatis 2015 - Neue Aula-3 Dies universitatis 2015 - Neue Aula-1 Dies universitatis 2015 - Neue Aula-17

Second meeting of the Ethiopia Onchocerciasis Elimination Expert Advisory Committee in Addis Ababa

Ethiopia is Africa’s second largest country and onchocerciasis (river blindness) is highly endemic in many districts. Yet the state of knowledge on the local vectors and transmision indices is still limited.

PD Dr. Alfons Renz has been nominated to be member of the internatioal Expert Advisory Committee, that shall assist the Ethiopian Ministry of Health to eliminate onchocerciasis until 2020. Fly-catching near Simulium breeding sites in the center of the so-called ‘transmission zones’ shall deliver the entomological criteria for successful elimination. Less than one fly per 2000  flies caugzt on nman – or on a trap – should be infected with Onchocerca volvulus L3 in their head. This level is still exceeded at many sites in the country. Ivermectin mass-treatments havbe already started in most of the districts but in some, the status of oncho-endimicity and transmission is still unclear.

There is definitively a lot of work to be done, but the enthousiasmn and the strong support by national and international agencies make the goal of elimination feasable!

The Committee met in Addis Abeba from October 4th to 8th.


Alfons Renz is supported by the Carter Center, Atlanta, USA,