Welcome to The World Federation of Parasitologists (WFP)

The World Federation of Parasitologists promotes and co-ordinates the exchange of knowledge, research and other activities relating to parasitology. The International Congress of Parasitology (ICOPA) takes place every 4 years and ICOPA XII was hosted by the Australian Society of Parasitology in Melbourne in 2010. The thirteenth ICOPA will be hosted by the Mexican Society of Parasitology In August 2014 in Mexico City. Members of The Federation consist of scientific organizations concerned with parasitism, mainly national societies related to parasitology or tropical medicine. The Federation was founded in Warsaw, Poland in 1960.

President's Message

During the dynamic leadership of the past presidents David Rollinson and Alan Cowman and due to the efforts of Les Chappell, our former secretary, WFP has entered into a new phase with a more modern organisation and increasing activities. At the council meeting held during ICOPA XIII we elected a high number of new executive board members. All board members are presented on our home page.

WFP is close to launching our own journal in collaboration with Elsevier thus making us more visible and allowing us to contribute more to the science and practice of parasitology.

The highlight of 2014 was, needless to say, ICOPA XIII in Mexico City. Ana Flisser and her team had managed to gather an impressive number of high profile speakers and we had wonderful social gatherings, great food and a memorable gala dinner.

All the latest news and details can be seen in the WFP newsletter, a new initiative aimed at strengthening our communication. Please see WFP newsletter no. 1, 2015 under the News tab.

I would like to wish all parasitologists around the world a happy and successful New Year 2015. I look forward to the coming four years and to see you all in South Korea for ICOPA XIV – if not before.

Jørgen Kurtzhals

President of World Federation of Parasitologists

ICOPA XIV (2018)

WFP is pleased to announce that ICOPA XIV will be held in Daegu, South Korea from September 9-13th, 2018. Further information can be found in the WFP newsletter (WFP newsletter no. 1, 2015) Further details will be posted as soon as they become available.

About Us

What is the World Federation of Parasitologists?

The World Federation of Parasitologists (WFP) exists to unite those engaged in the study of parasites and to present forums for international exchange of information and ideas. We bring together the National Societies of Parasitology worldwide and provide contacts and insights to benefit students, research scientists, national and international agencies, health control specialists and others keen to learn about Parasitology and its importance globally.

What is Parasitology and why are parasites important?

The parasitic mode of life is the most common on the planet with representatives from all major taxa. Parasites have evolved highly specialized adaptations that allow them to exploit host resources and to find a niche in every living organism. Negative consequences of parasitic infection result in the multitude of diseases affecting animals and humans including trypanosomiasis, schistosomiasis, leishmaniasis, toxoplasmosis, elephantiasis and ascariasis to name a few. These diseases are caused by a broad range of parasites from simple single celled forms to multi-cellular organisms such as lung, liver and gut flukes, tapeworms and roundworms. Hence, parasitology has broad applications to human and veterinary medicine, agriculture, fisheries, nutrition and biodiversity

Parasites ‘steal’ resources from the infected host that would normally be utilized for growth and reproduction. It is becoming increasingly clear that variation in host resources can influence disease dynamics and parasite virulence thereby shaping the prevalence of disease within populations. Understanding the unique adaptations of parasites and the interactions between parasitic organisms and their hosts poses research questions that continue to fascinate biologists and scientists from many different disciplines.

One of the most devastating diseases caused by parasites is malaria for which there are 300 million acute cases annually, resulting in more than a million deaths, mostly in children under five years of age. Globally, there has been a strengthening of will to combat malaria with initiatives from the Roll Back Malaria Global Partnership, the Multilateral Initiative for Malaria of the WHO, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and many others. Indeed Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation have voiced their commitment that “Our long-term goal is to eradicate this deadly disease”. This will be an enormous challenge but an important call to those developing novel treatments and controls against malaria. Currently, a vaccine against Plasmodium falciparum (RTS,S) is in Phase III human trials and a number of new drugs and combinations in advanced stages of development, providing hope that the tools for the prevention of malaria infection will be available in the near future. By harnessing global expertise and encouraging effective scientific networks, significant progress can be achieved across the multiple disciplines of parasitology.

What does the World Federation of Parasitologists do?

The WFP promotes the study of parasitology globally and provides a forum for international exchange by sponsoring of The International Congress of Parasitology (ICOPA) meeting every four years. The next Congress, ICOPA XIII, will be held in Mexico in 2014 and will provide a valuable opportunity to bring together the world’s parasitology experts to learn, network and develop ideas that will assist in understanding parasites of the world. WFP also provides forums for contacts and insights to benefit students, research scientists, national and international agencies, health control specialists and others keen to learn more about Parasitology in the broadest sense.

This website serves to provide a growing resource of information for anyone keen to learn more about Parasitology. News from all National Parasitology Societies and interested individuals is welcome and please do notify us of important and influential research papers that could be featured in our “Highlighted Article" section. The Executive Board of WFP welcomes your comments and feedback.