Welcome to the ICOPA 2022 Online Program
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Sessions and Eposters can be viewed in the venue onsite and in the virtual platform. They cannot be accessed through the interactive program.
CHAIR INTRODUCTION (ID 2319)
CHALLENGES OF AND RECOMMENDATIONS FOR TEACHING LABORATORY PARASITOLOGY IN A COUNTRY WITH LOW PARASITE BURDENS (ID 1914)
In this case-based presentation, Professor Pritt will discuss the challenges of teaching clinical parasitology in a country with low parasite burdens, and present recommendations creating and implementing a formal parasitology educational program.
TAKING CLINICIANS ABROAD TO LEARN PARASITOLOGY AND TROPICAL MEDICINE (ID 1915)
The challenges and opportunities to teach tropical medicine i the tropics will be presented here. The Gorgas course has 27 years of uninterrupted activity reaching health care workers from all over the world. Using positive reinforcement as well as adapting new methodologies the Gorgas courses have remakin at the forefront of innovation.
BUILDING A CLINICAL AND TRANSLATIONAL RESEARCH PROGRAM IN NEGLECTED TROPICAL DISEASES IN A NON-ENDEMIC SETTING (ID 1916)
THE GROWING NEED FOR PARASITOLOGY TRAINING PROGRAMS IN COUNTRIES OF LOW ENDEMICITY: BUILDING A CLINICAL PARASITOLOGY COURSE (ID 1917)
Dr. Weatherhead will review the importance of Tropical Medicine education for health care professionals in regions of low parasite burden and present strategies to enhance learning of and exposure to parasite-related healthcare concerns.
CLINICAL STUDIES OF THE ASSOCIATION BETWEEN TOXOPLASMOSIS AND MENTAL DISEASES (ID 1494)
GLOBAL BURDEN OF MENTAL DISEASES ASSOCIATED WITH TOXOPLASMOSIS (ID 1492)
CHAIR INTRODUCTION (ID 2080)
BIOLOGICAL BASIS OF THE CONNECTION BETWEEN TOXOPLASMOSIS AND HUMAN MENTAL DISEASES (ID 1493)
The epidemiological studies show mixed results for the role of Toxoplasma gondii in schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s disease, and Parkinson’s disease. Our studies suggest that differences in Toxoplasma strain type and infection stage may account for these discrepancies. Toxoplasma has many strain types, with virulence being the most notable difference. Following exposure to Toxoplasma, there is marked variation in human response ranging from resolved to persistent infection. We have found that maternal infection with virulent type I strains increased the risk of psychosis in offspring. Pregnant women who were Toxoplasma-seropositive are at risk for dysphoric mood states of depression and anxiety, of which type I-infected had the highest scores. Our studies also suggest that the presence of tissue cysts is associated with clinical manifestations. In HIV+ individuals, tissue cysts showed predictive value on the occurrence of toxoplasmic encephalitis. In animal models of chronic infection, there are multiple neuropathologies. We found that persistent infection leads to cortical neurodegeneration, NMDAR autoantibody generation, and behavioral changes. Neurodegeneration occurs in specific regions of the prefrontal cortex. NMDAR autoantibodies have been postulated to play a role in the pathogenesis of NMDAR hypofunction. The presence of tissue cysts is associated with the elevation of NMDAR autoantibodies. Several behavioral abnormalities were discovered, such as reduced locomotor and exploratory activity, impaired object recognition memory, and lack of motor activation to amphetamine. These studies have provided mechanistic explanations for the link between Toxoplasma infection and psychiatric disorders.