Delegates will be thrilled to hear from Australia’s world-renowned researchers who are leaders in areas of vaccine development, parasite immunology, molecular parasitology, drug resistance and parasite ecology.
Parasites in a changing world
Change is inevitable. It can happen on a small, large or global scale. It can be feared, yearned for or go unnoticed. Change can be good, as exemplified by technological advancements that make our lives easier and safer. Unfortunately, however, change can also have devastating and cascading effects.
According to the Sixth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), within the next 20 years, human activities will have increased the global temperature by 1.5°C since the mid 1800s. Global warming is already having profound impacts on health and agriculture, with the effects set to worsen as the temperature continues to rise. Increased global temperatures will have major flow-on effects such as flooding, drought, altered rainfall patterns, melting snow cover and glaciers, rising sea levels as well as marine heatwaves and acidification. These changes will have a dramatic impact on individuals, communities and ecosystems. The global distribution of parasites, hosts and vectors will undoubtedly be affected by these events. In turn, we may see changes to parasite adaptation, transmission and virulence.
For ICOPA in Sydney in 2026, we propose a congress theme focusing on parasites in a changing world. We will endeavor to highlight (i) beneficial changes such as advancements to scientific techniques, diagnostics, antiparasitic treatments and vaccines, (i) undesired changes such as increased prevalence of parasite drug resistance and transmission, and (iii) the impact of global or localised change, such as warming and urban sprawl, on parasites and their vectors.
We also propose a sub-theme focusing on parasites within particular regions as these may have features that are uniquely impacted by localised and global change.
We envisage a congress that will showcase the best parasitology research on the planet whilst at the same time focus our attention on the increased threat posed by parasites in a changing world.