Part of our DFG- and Baden-Württemberg is the exchange of students to enable them to carry out their own research. Alexander has arrived in Cameroon, together with Dr. Albert Eisenbarth, in May 2016. He is staying in the Programme Onchocercoses laboratory until mid-July. His particular interest is the movement of the microfilariae of Onchocerca ochengi in the skin. Previous work by Frey Zettl has shown that the natural movements of microfilariae is directed towards the ‘head’ and enables them to move quiet quickly, about 1 mm in less than 10 seconds (=> see the video on the front-page of our website!).
The question now, which Alexander is going to investigate is, whether there are any attractants (physical or chemical cues), which can prompt the microfilaria to move into a defined directed – or to avoid it.
Alexander is also participating in the routine inspections of Simulium breeding sites and the monitoring of Onchocerca spp. transmission by anthropo-boophilic Simulium flies.
We wish him all the best for his stay in Ngaoundéré!
stud. biol. Alexander Böck, Univ. of Tübingen
Back from Cameroon, he wrote this report on his practical in Ngaoundéré