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,

Congratulation, Dr. rer. nat. Albert Eisenbarth!

On the 23rd of September, Albert Eisenbarth defended his thesis at the Faculty of Natural Sciences at the Tübingen!

Examiners were Prof. Peschel, Prof. Betz, PD Streit, PD Renz.



Presentation of onchocerciasis research in Cameroon at MINRESI

On September, 9th, the Regional Center of the Ministry of Research and Innovation (Ministère de la Recherche et d’Innovation) invited, on the occasion of the promotion of Dr. Manchang, Chercheur et Chef de Programme Santé Animale de l’IRAD, to a conference on the “Lutte contre l’onchocercose humaine’.


PD Dr. Alfons Renz was invited to summarize his 39 years of onchocerciasis research in Cameroon:













After the talk of Renz and Manchang the guests were invited for an African dinner and for an interview by the Camerouonian TV-channel 2

MINRESI-Vortrag MINRESI-Vortrag 10 MINRESI-Vortrag 9 MINRESI-Vortrag 7 MINRESI-Vortrag 4 MINRESI-Vortrag 5

Tübingen students in the Programme Onchocercoses Lab

During the3 semester holiday 2015, three students from the Tübingen university visited the Programme Onchoceroses Laboratory in Ngaoundéré, Cameroon. They had participated in the Cameroon-seminar at the university of Tübingen and the course on ‘Vektorbiologie & Epidemiuologie’ in the Sommersaemester 2015:

Francois Korbmacher: His aim was to search for pathogens in local ticks on cattle (Amblyomma variegatum and Boophilus decoloratus, mainly).

Sophia Stiegler: She injected microfilariae of bovine Onchocerca species into local Simulium flies to follow-up their develoopment to infective L3 larvae.

Freya Zettl: She takes movies of moving microfilariae in different media to analyse the specific movements of various Onchocerca species isolated from the skin of cattle and from the uterus of gravid female worms.


hotos of their work are shown in the galerie.

Congratulations, Dr. Manchang Kingsley Tanya!

In August 2015, Manchang Kingsley Tanya from IRAD Wakwa finished his PhD in Münster with Prof. Eva Liebau. During the DFG-Secretome project he had worked in the laboratory of PD. Dr. Minka Breloer at the Bernhard-Nocht-Institut in Hamburg on the immuno-stimulating and immune-suppressive action of filarial nematode antigens. (2009-2012; Promotion 2015) : Onchocerca ochengi-derived excretory/secretory products: immune response and immune modulation.

photos after defence



Afrika-Festival Tübingen 2015

The Afrika-Festival Tübingen 2015 has started!

The Programme Onchocercoses team presents its activities in the ‘Cameroon village’. 19 pagode tents are grouped together to represent Cameroon, which shall be the country in focus of this year’s festival.

Start of the Festival on Thursday: Situated close o the ntrance of the ‘Cameroon Village’, our tent shall be the first to be seen by the visitors when they enter the village. However and unfortunately, the guests from Cameroon had not received their visa in time!! The German Embassy in Yaounde had not benn capable to grant them the visa necessary for travel to Germany. This was true as well for the guests of the festival as for our four students from Cameroon, which we had invited. These students from the universities of Ngaoundéré and Bamenda should have participated in the presentation of the Programme Onchocercoases project. Then, starting on Monday, they were expected to participate in a two wekks workshop on new molecular techniques in medical entomology, held by Albert Eisenbarth and Babette Guimbang.

On Friday, the Africa-Business-Meeting and Embasadors Talk to place in a large tent on the festival. Mr. Otto Erbe, head of the Industrie und Handelskammer welcommed the guests and introduced the speakers. After the talk, his Excellency Jean-Marc Mpay, Embasssador of Cameroon to Germany and his wife visited the Programme Onchocercoses presentation. They highly appreciated the work done in collaboration with IRAD and the universities of Bamenda and Ngaoundéré and had a long talk with Ms Babette Guimbang, who recently had received a teach-at-tübingen grant.

On Friday evening, a heavy thunder-storm went over the festival and forced the visitors to refugee under the tents.

On Saturday however, a very heavy storm sadly forced us to finish our exhibition. Many tents were destroyed.

In summary, we had a strong and interesting presentation at the festival, which this year was extremely well prepared by the organisors. Unfortunately, the Cameroon Village was left deserted because of the problems in obtaining the visa for the representatives of Cameroon.

More pictures from the festival on the homepage of the local newspaper:,1_mmid,5797.html#454092

Alfons Renz

Kamerun-Zeltstadt-Afrika-Festival-2015Cameroon-village Aufbau-2 Cameroon-village Aufbau Zelt Programme Onchocercoses 2 Zelt Besucher Programme-Onchocercoses-Zelt Mikroskope Mikroskop Zelt-Prog-Oncho 4 Team Zelt-Prog-Oncho 3 Albert Besuchertin aus Kenya Besucherin aus KenyaCameroon-village-2 Cameroon-village-3 Freitag-1 Freitag-2-Kameruner-Botschafter Freitag-2-Kameruner-Botschafter-2 Freitag-2-Kameruner-Botschafter-3 Freitag-2-Kameruner-Botschafter-4 Freitag-3-Business-Forum Freitag-3-Business-Forum-2 Freitag-3-Business-Forum-3 Freitag-3-Business-Forum-4 Freitag-3-Business-Forum-5 Freitag-3-Business-Forum-6 Freitag-3-Business-Forum-7 Freitag-4-Cameroon-village Freitag-4-Cameroon-village-2 Freitag-4-Cameroon-village-3 Freitag-4-Cameroon-village-4 Freitag-5-Festival Freitag-5-Festival-2 Freitag-Besucher-1 Freitag-Besucher-2 Freitag-Besucher-3 Freitag-Besucher-4 Freitag-Besucher-5 Freitag-Besucher-6 Freitag-Besucher-7 Freitag-Besucher-8 Freitag-Besucher-9 Freitag-Prof-Eichner Freitag-Prof-Eichner-2 Kamerun-Zeltstadt-2-Afrika-Festival-2015 Kamerun-Zeltstadt-Afrika-Festival-2015 Mikroskop Mikroskope Programme-Onchocercoses-Zelt Zelt Besucher Zelt-Prog-Oncho 4 Team Zelt-Prog-Oncho 5 Team Zelt-Prog-Oncho 6 Team Zelt-Prog-Oncho 7 TeamFriday-storm-in-the deserted-village-1Heavy-storm-Impossible-to-open-doorHeavy-storm-3Fighting-against-the-storm Fighting-against-the-storm-2Heavy-storm-2Heavy-storm  Friday-storm-in-the deserted-village-tent-destroyed  Destroyed-tent

Substantial Grant received by the Baden-Württemberg-Stiftung BW-Plus!

We are more than happy to announce that the Baden-Württemberg-Stiftung is going to support the strategic partnership of the University of Tübingen with Cameroonian Partners from the University of Bamenda, University of Ngaoundéré and the Institute for Agricultural Research (IRAD) in Yaoundé!

This grant shall allow the exchange of students, organization of workshops in Tübingen and Cameroon and presentation of our collaboration the the Afrika-Festival and Business-Meetings in Tübingen!


Donation of computer-software by ACRONIS

Africa not only is a continent badly sufferering from neglected tropical diseases but also from all kind of compter viruses. Recently two of your students from the University of Ngaoundéré lost many data and much work by an infection of their laptops. When talking to this with a representative of the software-developing company ACRONIS they kindly prosed helping us with a sending of their package: ACRONIS True Image – PC Backup & Recovery. The sending just arrived when our partners were here in Tübingen and was well received with thanks!



Meeting of DFG-Partners in Tübingen

DFG-COBE partners met in Tübingen on the 15th and 16th of June to discuss the ongoing progress and plan for the future years. The Director-General OF IRAD, Yaoundé, came to Tübingen for the first time and representatives of our project were wellcomed on behalf of the recorate by the Prorector of reseach of the university, Prof. Grathwohl. 1-Rektorat-Uni-Tübingen 2-Präsentation-Vera 2-Projektpartner-2 3-Grilfest-2 3-Grilfest-3 - Kopie 3-Grilfest-4 3-Grilfest-Albert-Babette-Flore 3-Grilfest-Flore-Dan - Kopie

DFG-Meeting in Würzburg (19.-14. June 2015)

The this year’s meeting of the German-African reserach projects in Infectiology took place at the Biozentrum of the university Würzburg. Our project was presented by Ms Babette Guimbang and by two posters. The excursion took us to the historic town of Bamberg.

1-DFG-meeting-Würzburg Babette-Vortrag-2 Babette-Votrrag-1 Bamberg-2 Bamberg-3 Bamberg-4 Bamberg-5 Bamberg-6 Bamberg-8 Bamberg-9 Bamberg-91 Bamberg-92 Buffet Buffet-2 Grillen-2 Grillen-3 Meeting-1 Meeting-2 Meeting-3. Meeting-4. Poster-1 Poster-3 Poster-4 Poster-5 Schweineritt-Alfons Schweineritt-Dan Trypano-team