Global three-day conference on emerging arboviruses and insecticide resistance opens in Singapore

SINGAPORE, 1 October 2018 – The resistance of mosquito borne arboviruses such as dengue, zika, chikungunya and yellow fever are now a major threat to public health world-wide. These mosquitos that transmit them are becoming increasingly resistant to insecticides used, with a recent review highlighting that 40 countries have reported resistance to at least one chemical class in the vector Aedes mosquitoes.1  The French National Research Institute for Sustainable Development (IRD-France) and Duke-NUS Medical School, Singapore, have joined forces to organise a 3-day global conference to discuss progress, review research gaps and priorities in controlling emerging arboviruses and the management of insecticide resistance, starting today at the Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel in Singapore.

“This is the second time such an international conference is being organised and the first time it is held in Singapore. It will convene scientists, key members of the public and private sector and decision-makers from around the world to review the progress of current vector control strategies and to share knowledge of better tools and technologies to overcome the problem of insecticide resistance," stated Asst. Prof. Julien Pompon from Duke-NUS' Emerging Infectious Diseases (EID) Signature Research Programme and co-organiser of WIN 2018. "Many of the emerging arboviruses can also be better managed through informed protective measures." 

“Insecticide resistance has contributed to the re-emergence and spread of arboviral diseases in some parts of the world, and is now recognised as a major threat for vector control,” commented Prof. Vincent Corbel from IRD, a medical entomologist with over 17 years’ experience in vector research, who currently leads the Worldwide Insecticide Resistance Network (WIN), supported by the World Health Organization (WHO). “Important knowledge gaps remain on mosquito resistance, including its distribution, dynamics, mechanisms and impact on vector control. There is an urgent need to review progress and achievements made for the surveillance and control of arbovirus vectors and to discuss their potential for mitigating insecticide resistance.” 

About the WIN International Conference

The 2nd WIN International Conference on “Integrated approaches and innovative tools for combating insecticide resistance in arbovirus vectors” focuses on basic and translational research with the scope of enhancing vector control and fostering innovation. It is designated as an event of the Year of Innovation 2018 supported by France and Singapore to stimulate collaboration, research and innovation in public health. It is expected to raise awareness for strengthening the capacity of national authorities in resistance monitoring and the deployment of alternative tools for arboviral diseases control. 

The Conference runs from October 1-3, 2018, and gathers approximately 150 leading scientists, private and public sector representatives, decision makers and other key stakeholders from around the world to share information and provide recommendations for the improvement of insecticide resistance surveillance and deployment of innovative vector control tools. A roster of distinguished speakers with international recognition in the field of arboviral diseases, vector control and insecticide resistance are addressing the audience.

At its opening session, Mr. Derek Ho, Director-General, Public Health, National Environment Agency (NEA), Singapore, led the welcome addresses, followed by H.E. Marc Abensour, Ambassador of France to the Republic of Singapore; Prof. Patrick Casey, Senior Vice Dean for Research, Duke-NUS Medical School; Dr. Raman Velayudhan, Coordinator, Department of Control of Neglected Tropical Diseases, WHO (WHO/NTD); and Dr. Florence Fouque, Team Leader on Vectors, Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases, WHO (WHO/TDR). Keynote speakers include:

  • Emeritus Prof. Duane J. Gubler, from Duke-NUS’ EID Signature Research Programme and Chair of the Global Dengue and Aedes-Transmitted Diseases Consortium, Singapore, speaking on ‘Public Health Priorities for Prevention and Control of Epidemic Arboviral Diseases’.
  • Dr. Raman Velayudhan, WHO/NTD, speaking on ‘The WHO global vector control response to reduce the burden of vector borne diseases’.
  • Prof. Scott O'Neill, Director of the World Mosquito Programme, Monash University, Vietnam, speaking on ‘The use of Wolbachia to disrupt dengue, zika and chikungunya transmission by Aedes aegypti’.
  • Dr. Didier Fontenille, Director of the Institut Pasteur du Cambodge, Cambodia, speaking on ‘Arbovirus vectors in South East Asia: a plea against ignorance’.
  • Assoc. Prof. Ng Lee Ching, Director of the Environmental Health Institute, NEA, Singapore, speaking on ‘Project Wolbachia Singapore – Exploring a novel tool for Aedes control’.
  • Prof. Jeffrey Scott, Cornell University, USA, speaking on ‘Detection of Resistance in Insects Vectors of Human Disease: The Road Forward’.

The Conference is supported by WHO/TDR, the French National Research Institute for Sustainable Development (IRD-France), the Montpellier University of Excellence (MUSE), the Centre National pour la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), the Innovative Vector Control Consortium (IVCC), and private industry, including Valent-Biosciences, Syngenta, Bayer, BASF and the Goizper group. 

 

Reference:

1. Moyes CL, Vontas J, Martins AJ, Ng LC, Koou SY, Dusfour I, Raghavendra K, Pinto J, Corbel V, David JP, Weetman D. Contemporary status of insecticide resistance in the major Aedes vectors of arboviruses infecting humans. Plos Neglected Tropical Diseases. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2017 Jul 20;11(7):e0005625. doi: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0005625. eCollection 2017 Jul. Review.

 

For media enquiries, please contact Federico Graciano, Duke-NUS Communications.