Aligarh: Prof. Aaron G. Maule, Director Institute for Global Food Security, Molecular Biosciences-Parasitology, School of Biological Sciences, Queen’s University, Belfast, UK said that Fluke is one of the most important helminthes infections of ruminants in Asia and Africa and is most prominent in poorer regions impacting individual and small farming communities. He was addressing the international symposium and workshop on “The Control of Helminthes Parasites with Emphasis on Liver Fluke” and “Liver Fluke: an RNAi Workshop” organized by Department of Zoology, Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh.
Prof. Maule said that the parasites inflict very significant losses in cattle, buffaloes, goats and sheep in India and infection levels can reach 55% in isolated regions. This is a great loss to the agricultural economy in India and directly affects the productivity of large and small farm holdings alike and negatively impacting individual farmers and their families.
He said that an international collaboration involving researchers from North India, South India, Australia and the UK is striving to understand the problem in India and to develop novel control methods.
Prof. Terry Spithill, La Trobe University, Australia said that Live Fluke can badly affect the economy of the country and it does not recognize the border. He said it is a complex biological system and not is it to produce a vaccine but new technologies are going a hope to identify new vaccine candidates devised from the body surface of liver fluke.
Dr. Gerry Brennan, UK appreciate the work going on under the project and congratulated the faculty members for their dedication.
Prof. Irfan Ahmad, Chairman, Department of Zoology apprised about the academic activities of the department, its funding and various national and International celebrative programmes. He also mentioned about the important role of Parasitology section in advancement of the subject by publishing papers in peer-reviewed journals.
Paying tributes to Prof. Babar Mirza, Prof. Iqbal Parvez in his welcoming remarks said that the department has very strong culture of research since the period of Prof. Mirza.
Prof. SMA Abidi, Organizing Secretary of the workshop said that such International collaborations not only encourage researchers but also benefit the students in their studies. He said this symposium would also provide an international perspective for the overall development and put the institution prominently on the academic map of the world. Prof. Abidi dedicated the workshop to the profound memory of Prof. Wajih Ahmad Nizami.
The programme was presided over by Prof. Athar Siddiqui, eminent scholar and retired faculty member of the department. He said that the seed of quality research, which he sowed in the Department long ago, has now become a large tree.
Prof. Qudsia Tahseen conducted the programe. A brochure on Liver Fluke infection in Hindi, English and Urdu and a souvenir was released by the chief guest.