Patrick Bürgel has finished his thesis of Bachelor!

During August and September 2014, Patrick Bürgel collected data on the socio-entomological interface of riverblindness in Cameroon: The way of clothing, which may more or less protect the human body from the bites of the Simulium dannosum vector flies is a key-factor in epidemiology.  He could show, that the degree of exposure of the villages population has in fact decreased from a value of over 95 % during the first half of the last century, to much lower values nowadays.

Read more (abstract to be published soon)

Patrick Bürgel 2014

Filariasis-Meeting in Paris, 26-27th of September

The International Filariasis Meeting (IFM 2014) is focused on new concepts and approaches in the study of filariasis, their diversity and those of their endosymbiotic bacteria Wolbachia, and their interaction with vertebrate hosts and arthropod vectors. The program will feature a wide range of topics, such as filarial diversity, host and parasite co-evolution, filarial developmental biology, pathogenesis, host invasion, transmission, metabolic interaction, immune response, drug action and resistance, and vaccination.

The Conference will bring together investigators who are at the forefront of their field, and will provide opportunities for junior scientists and graduate students to get together and exchange ideas with leaders in the field. This conference is intended to provide a unique format for the exchange of ideas and information, to discuss the latest research findings and set future research agendas in a collegial atmospher.


Coralie Martin, Sabine Specht and Ben Makepeace
Organizing and scientific committees

learn more:


New COBE-DFG-University of Bamenda lab at IRAD Bambui, Bamenda

In the frame of our COBE project, partner Dr. Flore Nguemaim Ngoufo from the University of Bamenda (UB) has set up her ouwn entomological lab in a building of the IRAD-Bambui Centre (Director Dr. Ebangui). Together with her collegues Moses and Ceril from the UB, she conducts entomological studies on Simulium biting densities and Onchocerca-transmission potential along the river Menchum valley.

Flore's team Flore's lab Flore's lab Bamenda Flore's lab and team Flore Nguemaim Bamenda Bamenda Menchum valley - Clarissa -fly-catching Bamenda Menchum valley - Clarissa -flies caught

Programme Onchocercoses at the Tuebingen Afrika-Festival

Programme Onchoceroses made a debut presentation at the Afrika-Festival 2014, which took place in Tübingen from July 17th to 20. Lots of visitors came to our tent, amongst the many, his Excellency, the Ambassador of Cameroon in Berlin, Jean-Marc Mpay, the Parliamentary State Secretary to the Federal Minister for Economic Coooperation and Development Hans-Joachim Fuchtel and the German Chancellor’s G8 Personal Representative for Africa, Mr. Günter Nooke, and the former German Ambassador to the Rupublik of Cameroon, Horst Buchholz.

Under a microcope, kindly provided by the ZEISS-Microimaging compagny, we showed Onchocerca-worms and Simulium-vector flies. The results of 37 years of fieldwork in Cameroon, as well as our on-going research topics were presented by posters (=> see more)

Can cattle protect from blindness? – the answer to this this was a threefold  yes, in deed: By zooprophylaxis and crossprotecting premunition. Moreover, the bovine Onchocerca ochengi provides us a marvellous experimental tool for studies of the biology of filarial worms, developing new macrofilaricides and vaccines. By this, bovine onchocercosis opens our eyes to understand the epidemiology of human riverblindness.

The festival was also an occasion to meet old friends and colleagues, like Dr. Dr. Christoph Jacobi, who now runs a project of AIDS-pervention in Buea, Cameroon, and Dr. Wolfgang Hoffmann from the Tübingen Institute for Tropical Medicine, who presented his work on rodent filarial worms.

The DIFÄM (Deutsches Institut für Ärztliche Mission) and the AIDS-Hilfe, both in Tübingen presented their information-flyers for distribution.

See more:

=> Press-releases (Schwäbisches Tagblatt):


Just published: P. Wenk, A. Renz: Malaria: Wettrüsten oder Selbstkontrolle?

It is the biological background of the life-cycle of Plamodium parasites and their triggy philosopy of survival that makes it so difficult to control malaria.
In the prestidious Naturwissenschafliche Rundschau Peter Wenk and Alfons Renz just published a comprehensive review of the life-history of these protozoa. Eukaryotic parasites behave much different if compared to prokaryotic pathogens. These differences become obvious in issues of epidemiology, immunology and self-control.

Malaria: Wettrüsten oder Selbstkontrolle? Naturwissenschaftliche Rundschau, 67, Heft 6, 2014, S 276-299 (Reprints may be requested from:

Afrika-Festival 2014 in Tübingen

Programme Onchocercoses shall be present, for the first time, at the Afrika-Festival in Tübingen, which takes place from Thursday, 17th to Sunday, 20th of July.

More information about the entire program on: –

and on:

Examination of cattle herds started in North Cameroon with view to QTL-studies

With its high bio-climatic diversity, Cameroon harbours a large variety of bovine hosts and their respective parasites. Whilst our primary aim is to study the epidemiology of Onchocerca-parasites in cattle and men, we now enlarged our fous on other cattle parasites and diseases too: Tsetse flies and trypanosomes, ticks, piroplasmidae and Dermatophilus, Culicidae and Setaria, Ceratopogonidae and O. gutturosa. Microbacterial, fungus and virus diseases are very common at places where vectors are prevalent and susceptible hosts available. Beneath the Zebu cattle (Bos indicus), which itself belongs to different breeds (white and red Fulani, Mbororo, etc.) there are inbred Goudali Zebu at Wakwa (Zebu & Holstein & Braman), pure taurine species (Bos taurus; Namchi, Ndama) in the Poli mountains to the North-West and inbred Zebu-taurine local breeds: Kapsiki and others more or less mixed local species towards the Far North.

PhD Students from the University of Ngaoundéré, Msc. Babette Guimbang and Archile Paguem have started, with a grant from the Otto Bayer Fondation and with the support of Dr. Kingsley Manchang from IRAD and Dr. Mahmoudou from the Ngaoundéré University – both are very experienced veterinarians – to examine herds of cattle from different regions of North-Cameroon. More than 300 cattle have already been examined in the area around Ngaoundéré and a second sample of another 300 cattle has just been examined in the Dept. du Mayo Rey near Tcholliré.


The results of this study shall enable us to deliminate the occurrence of Simulium– and Culicoides-transmitted boviner Onchocerca-species and assess their impact for the epidemiology of human onchocerciasis by zooprophylaxuis and crossreacting concomitant premunition (Dipl. biol. Albert Eisenbarth).

Sera and samples shall also be used for QTL-studies in order to link the genetic structure of the cattle hosts to their susceptability as regards the various endemic pathogens.

(Read more soon)

Julia Hildebrandt’s paper accepted and congratulations to her Dr. rer. nat. from the Univ. Tübingen!


On June 5th, Julia Hildebrandt from the groupg of PD. Dr. Adrian Streit at the MPI in Tübingen sucessfully passed her rigorosum! She gave a lecture on the reproductive biology of Onchocerca ochengi and presented her results. She is the first to make her doctorate in our DFG-funded project here in Tübingen!

On this very same day, we also received the good news that her paper has been accepted for publication in the Journal of Veterinary Parasitology:
Reproductive biology of Onchocerca ochengi, a nodule forming filarial nematode in zebu cattle.
Julia C Hildebrandt; Albert Eisenbarth; Alfons Renz; Adrian Streit

Loulou Peisl and Albert Eisenbarth back from Cameroon

IMG_3861 Kopie

During the last 10 years, the Simulium damnosum s.l. populations at the river Vina du Sud near Galim decreased considerably, as indicated by the declining biting rates on human fly-collectors. Yet the reason for this is not clear: Is it due to ecological changes in the micro-environment of the local breeding sites, parasites of the Simulium larvae or just the dilution of the adult fly-population by an increase of the population density of the human and bovine blood-hosts? Loulou performed a series of experiments to find answers.

The photo shows Jeremie (left) and Albert, studying the blackfly larval-population in the river Vina du Sud.

Manchang’s paper on immune recognition of Onchocerca proteins published!

Immune recognition of Onchocerca volvulus proteins in the human host and animal models of onchocerciasis

T.K. Manchang, I. Ajonina-Ekoti, D. Ndjonka, A. Eisenbarth, M.D. Achukwi, A. Renz, N.W. Brattig, E. Liebau and M. Breloer

   Onchocerca volvulus is a tissue-dwelling, vector-borne nematode parasite of humans and is the causative agent of onchocerciasis or river blindness. Natural infections of BALB/c mice with Litomosoides sigmodontis and of cattle with Onchocerca ochengi were used as models to study the immune responses to O. volvulus-derived recombinant proteins (OvALT-2, OvNLT-1, Ov103 and Ov7).

The humoral immune response of O. volvulus-infected humans against OvALT-2, OvNLT-1 and Ov7 revealed pronounced immunoglobulin G (IgG) titres which were, however, significantly lower than against the lysate of O. volvulus adult female worms. Sera derived from patients displaying the hyperreactive form of onchocerciasis showed a uniform trend of higher IgG reactivity both to the single proteins and the O. volvulus lysate. Sera derived from L. sigmodontis-infected mice and from calves exposed to O. ochengi transmission in a hyperendemic area also contained IgM and IgG1 specific for O. volvulus-derived recombinant proteins.

These results strongly suggest that L. sigmodontis-specific and O. ochengi-specific immunoglobulins elicited during natural infection of mice and cattle cross-reacted with O. volvulus-derived recombinant antigens. Monitoring O. ochengi-infected calves over a 26-month period, provided a comprehensive kinetic of the humoral response to infection that was strictly correlated with parasite load and occurrence of microfilariae.

Journal of Helminthology, doi:10.1017/S0022149X14000224   Cambridge University Press 2014

Manchang Tanyi Kingsley is heading the Veterinary Research Laboratory of IRAD at Wakwa-Ngaoundere. He is a collaborator of Programme Onchocercoses since 2009 and prepares his dissertation with PD Dr. M. Beloer at the Bernhard-Nocht-Institute in Hamburg.