Parasitologist Dr Filipe Dantas-Torres to receive the prestigious award for leishmaniasis work; dedicates it to pet owners who lost their dogs during the control programme in Brazil and other endemic countries.
A Brazilian parasitologist who campaigns against the killing of dogs infected with Canine Leishmaniasis is to receive this year’s World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) One Health Award. In his role as President of the Tropical Council for Companion Animal Parasites (TroCCAP), Dr Filipe Dantas-Torres works to educate his veterinary colleagues and stakeholders across Latin America that leishmaniasis should be controlled by community-wide use of repellents and vaccination rather than by the culling of affected dogs. Leishmaniasis is a disease caused by a protozoan (single-celled) parasite found in dogs, cats, and certain rodents in many parts of the world, most commonly in rural areas. The parasite is transmitted by small biting sand flies. It is an important disease to be aware of because humans can also contract leishmaniasis. Clinical signs of the visceral form include fever, anorexia (lack of appetite), weakness, decreased stamina, severe weight loss, diarrhea, vomiting, increased drinking and urination, and bleeding from the nose. About one-third of dogs will develop swollen lymph nodes and an enlarged spleen and will progress to kidney failure. Muscle pain, joint inflammation, and swelling of the testicles may also be present.
A prestigious global Award, the WSAVA One Health Award is presented by the WSAVA’s One Health Committee (OHC) to an individual or organisation, which has promoted an aspect of One Health relevant to companion animals. Dr Dantas-Torres is a researcher in the Department of Immunology, Instituto Aggeu Magalhães, Recife. An EBVS Veterinary Specialist in Parasitology, he also holds a Master’s degree in Public Health, a PhD in Public Health, and a PhD in Animal Health and Zoonosis. In addition to his role as President of TroCCAP, he is Editor-in-Chief of Parasites and Vectors and a director of the World Association for the Advancement of Veterinary Parasitology. He will receive his award and give an Awards Lecture during this year’s WSAVA World Congress, which takes place from October 29-31 in Lima, Peru. The lecture is entitled: ‘Challenges and opportunities for tackling companion vector-borne diseases in Latin America.’ Dr Michael Lappin, Chair of the WSAVA One Health Committee, said: “The work that Dr Dantas-Torres is completing epitomises the mission of the WSAVA One Health Committee. He has worked tirelessly to improve the lives of dogs and their owners and his work is impactful around the world.” Dr Dantas-Torres said: “I am thrilled to receive this prestigious award from the WSAVA One Health Committee.
It recognises the efforts of many people I have had the pleasure to work with. I dedicate this award to pet owners who lost their dogs during the visceral leishmaniasis control programme in Brazil and other endemic countries.”
The WSAVA represents more than 200,000 veterinarians worldwide through its 114 member associations and works to enhance standards of clinical care for companion animals. Its core activities include the development of WSAVA Global Guidelines in key areas of veterinary practice, including pain management, nutrition and vaccination, together with lobbying on important issues affecting companion animal care worldwide. WSAVA World Congress brings together globally respected experts to offer cutting edge thinking on all aspects of companion animal veterinary care.