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.
“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.