Welcome to The World Federation of Parasitologists

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.


To obtain more information on the two venues offered for the 2018 ICOPA please click on each of the links below:

The bids for the above will be presented during ICOPA XIII at the first WFP Council meeting on Tuesday 12th August and the election for the next ICOPA venue will take place at the second WFP Council meeting on Thursday 14th August. The times and locations of these two meetings will be announced during ICOPA in Mexico City - both meetings will be in the Hotel Camino Real. Reminder that only WFP Council members are eligible to vote at these elections - they are the nominated representatives of member societies (one per society) that have paid the membership fee for the period 2014-2018 (US$100).

Kuala Lumpur and Durban have both decided not to enter a bid for ICOPA 2018.



All member societies are reminded that they are entitled to nominate a single candidate per society for a WFP Distinguished Achievement Award.

All nominations should be emailed to the Executive Secretary () and copied to Alan Cowman () by May 31st 2014 and must comply with the established rules which can be found on this website.


All member societies are reminded that they may nominate candidates for the WFP Executive Board and its officers. The closing date for such nominations will be Wednesday August 13th during ICOPA XIII. Nominations may be sent to Les Chappell () and copied to Alan Cowman () by email prior to ICOPA or added to the nomination list which will be displayed during ICOPA at the WFP stand. Please consult the WFP Constitution and By-Laws (see Governance section) for the composition of the WFP Executive.

A Message from the Treasurer - April 2014

Dear All,

As treasurer for the World Federation of Parasitologist, I would like to give you some information regarding the procedure for payment of the WFP membership fee and voting procedure in Mexico City.

The payment for your membership 2014 - 2018 must be made in advance of the meeting in the form of a bank transfer.

Council members (Society representative) will have to present their bank transfer receipt at the WFP stand from 13.00 - 15.00 on Wednesday 13. August to the Treasurer of WFP and receive a voting slip.

Please click this link for the full text of the message.



Plans for ICOPA XIII in Mexico City 10-15 August 2014 are well underway. For details and enquiries please contact Ana Flisser direct –

The ICOPA website can be found on: www.icopa2014.org or via the WFP web pages – http://wfpnet.org. We look forward to seeing you all in Mexico City.


The Executive of WFP has signed a limited period contract with Kenes International to be retained as a core PCO for the next two ICOPAs in the first instance, 2018 and 2022. In this capacity Kenes will oversee the next two ICOPAs and interact with the local hosts and WFP. This arrangement will benefit both local hosts and WFP. Kenes are anticipated to bring to the table their considerable expertise on running and managing major biomedical congresses. The aim of WFP is that we expand our congress business, that the Executive becomes more involved in the planning and management of ICOPAs and that we also generate a larger income which will be shared with the local hosts and be used for a range of exciting new ventures hitherto unaffordable, including extended travel grants, webinars, symposia, better use of the web pages and more regular meetings of the Executive Board.

The consequence of this new arrangement will be that member societies bidding for ICOPA 2018 will be required to interact with Kenes rather than a local PCO. If there are any queries about this new enterprise please raise them with the President, Alan Cowman and/or the Executive Secretary.


This is a reminder for each member society to consult the relevant section of the WFP web site (http://wfpnet.org) regarding nomination of a single candidate for this award. The deadline for the nominations, one per member society, is May 31st 2014.

Les Chappell
Executive Secretary
September 15th 2013

A Message from the President - 16 February 2013

Dear Council members of the World Federation of Parasitologists,

The Executive Board of the WFP has recently approved an increase in fees for member Societies from US$5 per year to US$25 per year i.e. US$100 for four years (previously US$20). This would be payable either electronically by bank draft or cash at each ICOPA meeting and would become payable at the Mexico City ICOPA XIII in 2014.

Payment of these fees allows the member Society to participate within the WFP Council including voting for the venue of subsequent ICOPA. The participation of each Society is critical for the continued existence and success of the WFP and the ICOPA Congress.

This was a very difficult decision and this email is to outline the practical and financial reasons for this change. The Board understands that any increase in fees places a financial strain on Societies and made this decision reluctantly for the following reasons:

  1. The current fee for Society membership of the WFP is US$5 per year and was due at each ICOPA for the next 4 years ie US$20. When this amount is set at such a very low level it can be entirely taken up by transaction costs from the banks transferring the money. Consequently, there can be little left and it becomes a waste of time and money and the only organisations that benefit are the banks. Whilst these Bank fees would still be paid on the increased membership fee (US$100 per four years) there would be a significant amount left over that could be usefully used to run the WFP business.
  2. The current income for running the WFP comes primarily from the registrant levy paid from each ICOPA. A large proportion of this is generally returned to each subsequent ICOPA by funding travel scholarships for young scientists. The WFP Board believes that this is a very appropriate way to expend this money as it benefits ICOPA and fosters the careers of younger scientists. However, it also means that there is little income to fund the general running of the WFP. These costs include funding of a webmaster as well as other activities of the WFP. This increase in the Society membership would assist in funding some of the general running essential activities of the Federation.

The Executive Board values the membership and contribution of each Society and trusts that you will understand the reasons for this membership fee increase. We look forward to your continued membership and participation in the WFP.

The second change that was approved by the WFP Board was to increase the ICOPA capitation fee from $US10 per capita to 10% of the registration income. Currently the per capita levy from ICOPA is set at US $10 per delegate (excluding financially supported invited speakers). This is to be changed to 10% of the full registration fee. This will not commence until ICOPA XIV (ie. 2018) after the Mexico City ICOPA XIII in 2014. If ICOPA XII in Melbourne was taken as an example the money obtained directly from registrations was approximately US$750,000 and they paid $12,995. The new costing planned for 2018 would have been approximately $75,000.

This decision has been made for the following reasons:

  1. With such a very low-income base it is very difficult for WFP to fund activities that would increase its visibility and support of member societies and parasitologists worldwide. This change would provide some increase in income after 2018 and we believe that this is essential for the viability of WFP.
  2. An increase in income would provide an increased opportunity for the WFP Board to increase its financial support for scientists travel. We believe that this is important for the future of parasitology and the WFP.

I trust you understand why these changes are being made and that the WFP Board is providing a long lead time for their introduction. If any Society has any questions or issues I would be pleased to answer them.

If the Executive Board and Council are going to endeavour to bring WFP into the 21st century in terms of its business activities a significant increase in income is going to be a prerequisite. At this time we are operating on a minimal income which is based on a 50 year old business model. We feel that the time for change is now.

Yours sincerely

Alan F. Cowman FAA FRS
President, World Federation of Parasitologists
16th February 2013

Distinguished Achievement Awards

See Distinguished Achievement Awards 2014

Call for bids to host ICOPA XIV (2018) - First Announcement

See ICOPA XIV Announcement

WFP Executive Board Vacancies in 2014 - First Announcement

See WFP Executive Board Vacancies in 2014


The next ICOPA, number XIII, will be held in Mexico City, Mexico, from 10th to 15th August 2014. Further information will be posted as soon as it becomes available. In the meantime, all enquiries should be addressed to the local organiser, Professor Ana Flisser, email:

Dr. Ana Flisser, President of ICOPA XIII, requests all Societies of Parasitology to add to the official web page of their society a link to www.icopa2014.org as well as the ICOPA XIII banner. Furthermore she has requested all societies to propose symposia, and has received only few responses. This is a great opportunity to participate in the integration of the scientific program. If you wish to propose a symposium (title and 4 speakers) please do so to

See ICOPA XIII Announcement

See ICOPA XII final report (2010) by Alan Cowman, President WFP, Chair ICOPA XII Organising Committee

A Message from the President

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.

Alan Cowman

About this Web Site

The news page is for Members of the Federation to upload and manage their own notices. Meetings can be posted to the bulletin board, and educational articles, job and opportunity listings, and grants and scholarships can be posted to their specific pages. Highlighted articles can also be found on the news page.

Membership and Governance gives details of the Executive Board, Full and Associate Members, the General Assembly and the Constitution and By-Laws.

The ICOPA section gives reports from ICOPA XI held in Glasgow 2006 and ICOPA XII held in Melbourne, Australia in August 2010.

Discover Fireflower takes you to the website of Fireflower Systems Ltd., who specialize in sophisticated, yet simple to use, web-enabled systems for managing parasitological and other scientific data.

Any comments or queries can be sent to us from the Contact Us page.