Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Mark your calendars: 4th International Blastocystis Conference - in Crete!

Hello all,

I'ts been a while, but I hope that you've been updating yourself through various networks, social media platforms, and what not.

Importantly, please mark your calendar for the 4th International Blastocystis Conference in Crete on the 18-19 September, 2024. Moreover, on the day before the conference (17th of September 2024) we will organise two parallel workshops, one on the Epidemiology of Blastocystis (Working Group 1 of the COST Action) and the other one on subtyping (Working Group 2 of the COST Action).

You can find more info on the conference here.

And more about the COST action on Blastocystis here and here

We hope to see as many of you there as possible!

This is your chance to meet all of us old Blasto-Buggers who never seize to be amazed... ! ๐Ÿ˜€

Bonus info: The 1st International Blastocystis Conference took place in Ankara in 2015 and was organised by Prof Funda Dogruman-Al and her lovely team. The next one took place in Bogotรก, Colombia, in 2018, where Prof Juan-David Ramirez and his great colleagues pulled off a really nice event. The third one was a virtual on (during COVID) in 2021, and now we look forward to the fourth one in the Mediterranean Sea!

Friday, May 26, 2023

PhD Fellowship in Intestinal Microbiome Analysis and Parasites as Health and Disease Biomarkers

For quite a while, I have had the undiluted pleasure of working with Prof Mark van der Giezen, who is currently based at the University of Stavanger. 

Mark is a PI on a large grant from the Norwegian Research Council, and I will be co-supervising one of the projects, which is the following: 

"PhD Fellowship in Intestinal Microbiome Analysis and Parasites as Health and Disease Biomarkers"

There will, of course, be special emphasis on Blastocystis, but we will also be looking at other common intestinal parasites, and the relationship between these and core host gut microbiota signatures.

Particularly those with experience and training in epidemiology and/or bioinformatics can now apply for this PhD position. You can read much more about the aim of the study and key qualifications here

Most of the work will be carried out at the institute where I work, the Statens Serum Institut, Copenhagen.

Have a great weekend ahead!

Monday, February 27, 2023

EU-COST-NUS Workshop: Blastocystis Culture & Applications

Hi all,

Exciting times ahead!

The first training school of our Action will take place between the 30th of May until 1st of June 2023 at the National University of Singapore. Thanks to Dr. Kevin Tan for organising this.

You can find more information here and register to attend the meeting my completing the form here.

Our Action will support 14-15 trainees to attend the Training School. To apply for a financial support to attend this training school you will need to complete the form below no latter than the 10th of March 2023.

Due to the tight timeline and quick turnover, we won’t consider any applications submitted after this deadline. 


For criteria selection, priority will be given to:

  • Applicants that have relevant research to Blastocystis or they are aiming to apply this knowledge to future Blastocystis research 
  • One applicant per COST member country
  • Early career researchers
  • Keeping a gender balance 
  • We cannot provide financial support for participants that are affiliated with non-COST member countries. See eligibility here: https://www.cost.eu/about/members/ 


We would like to inform the succesful applicants before the 15th of March. If you have any questions regarding the application procedure, please contact Dr. Eleni Gentekaki: E.Gentekaki@kent.ac.uk  


Please feel free to forward this information across your networks.


Kind regards,

Anastasios Tsaousis

Tuesday, December 13, 2022

SSU rDNA reference sequence database for Blastocystis and Entamoeba

Hello everyone,

Service update:

I've had a couple of people asking me where to fetch a curated collection of reference SSU rDNA sequences of Blastocystis (and Entamoeba). Please go here!

Have fun!

Maybe this is also an opportunity for me to encourage participation in the Blastocystis COST network; for more information on this, please go here. Soon, there will be a designated website for the activities.



Tuesday, September 20, 2022

PhD position on Blastocystis and more in Mark van der Giezen's lab, Norway

 I HAVE to post this!

This PhD position is one of more that are linked to the project "The Role of Blastocystis in inflammatory bowel disease".

If you or somebody you know share our interests in the interplay between common eukaryotic endosymbionts, gut bacteria and host health/disease and have an appropriate background (see call above), then please don't hesitate to apply - you'd be in for SO much fun! And you'd also get the opportunity to partake in the COST Blastocystis in One Health network that will going on for the next four years. You will very quickly become part of 'the Blastocystis community' and what not, and you'll join us in our endeavours to learn how we can put our knowledge into use. 

Go and apply! :-)

Friday, July 29, 2022

Intestinal parasites - where are we going? Ask @ ICOPA2022!

Billions of people host single-celled intestinal parasites, but what do we really know about these organisms and the way they impact our lives? Register virtually/on-site for #ICOPA2022 to learn more on this and go here for more inspiration.

Note that registration is still possible, and that one can register for on-site or virtual attendance. Please spread the word!




Thursday, July 21, 2022

Still possible to register for ICOPA2022 at the regular rate

Hi all,

We are so excited and looking forward to receiving a great number of scientists here in Copenhagen for the ICOPA 2022 event in exactly month from now!

Please note that you can still register at the regulate rate - please go here for more information. After July 27, the on-site registration fee will apply. Please note that you can register for on-site participation and also for virtual attendance only, if you think you cannot make it to Copenhagen. The fee for virtual participation is €350 (€225 for students).

Of course, there will be talks and posters involving Blastocystis - for starters, I can mention the following sessions:

PA04-02 - Giardia, Entamoeba, Blastocystis: 2.3 Intestinal parasitic diseases


PA09-04 - Symposium - Blastocystis: Updates on detection, molecular epidemiology, and molecular and cell biologyTopic: 3.5 Parasitic zoonoses and vector-borne diseases


PA10-05 - Other studies of parasites of domestic and wild animals: 3.6 Other studies related to parasites of domestic and wild animals


PA08-07 - One Health with a social sciences twist


 - and no less than 10 sessions are scheduled that will contain talks involving the microbiome!


And then of course, there will be a multitude of talks and posters on other intestinal parasites.


Why not go and familiarise yourself with the interactive programme here.


See you soon!




Tuesday, May 31, 2022

Blastocystis under One Health - EU economic support for a COST proposal

Goodness - time flies! We are busy prepping for the ICOPA2022 - please remember early bird registration deadline is  1 June, 2022! Go here for more information.

Meanwhile, I'm thrilled to be able to announce that The European Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST) has decided to support our project "Blastocystis under One Health", led by Dr Anastasios Tsaousis (Tasos)! There will be economic support to cover four years of networking and teaching activities across Europe - everything with the aim to strengthen research into Blastocystis and its role in health and disease. Here is a summary of the project: 

Blastocystis colonizes at least one billion people making it the most prevalent intestinal microbial eukaryote.Emerging data indicates higher prevalence in animals. A high proportion of carriers are asymptomatic. Despite numerous studies, the pathogenicity of Blastocystis remains controversial. Currently, at least 26 genetic subtypes (STs) exist. Of these, ST1-ST9 and ST12 have been found in humans, while the rest have been
isolated only from non-human hosts. Information on prevalence, geographic distribution and host specificity of STs is incomplete. Significant gaps also exist on the environmental presence of Blastocystis. Collectively, this paucity of data blurs the Blastocystis landscape considerably. The specific objectives of this framework are to: (1) Support advancement of Blastocystis research by bringing together professionals from various disciplines and countries; (2) Foster information sharing on current methodologies, especially in the areas of subtyping, host-Blastocystis-microbiome interactions and Blastocystis-omics; (3) Promote capacity building via a transdisciplinary network of international collaboration; (4) Open avenues of communication with veterinarians, physicians and the general public. By the end of this initiative, participants will be able to: (i) Apply state-of-the-art tools for molecular identification of Blastocystis; (ii) Harmonise methodologies for subtyping
Blastocystis and identifying its role within the gut; (iii) View Blastocystis under One Health approach; (iv) Generate novel hypotheses to test role of Blastocystis in the gut ecosystem, health and disease.

Scientists from a great number of countries will participate, including the COST countries Belgium, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, North Macedonia, Norway, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, Spain, Turkey, and United Kingdom. International partner countries include Canada, Colombia, Japan, Peru, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Thailand, and the United States.

Our project received a score of 46/50. 

Apart from Tasos, who should receive the highest possible accolade for this achievement, a number of people made significant contributions to the proposal, including Eleni Gentekaki, Mark van der Giezen, Graham Clark, and myself. 


This is a massive advancement in Blastocystis research, and will take the research into and knowledge about this peculiar organism to a completely different level. I expect a lot from the next few years' work with Blastocystis, and personally, I'm very interested in exploring how we can "use" Blastocystis as an indicator organism and - potentially - a manipulator of gut bacterial communities!

Stay tuned for more information! And I'll see some of you at ICOPA2022 in August!

Thursday, February 3, 2022

Abstract deadline for ICOPA2022 - ICOPAnhagen!

 Hola everyone!

Did you upload your suggestion(s) for ICOPA2022 symposia? If yes - good! If not - don't worry; you still have lots of opportunity to share your parasitology research.

Deadline for regular abstract submission is 8 March, 2022. 

Go here to submit.

For more information on ICOPA2022 - go here


Thursday, January 20, 2022

ICOPA2022 Deadline approaching: You've got one more week to submit your Symposium Proposals!

Hello everyone,

In the LOC and SC we are working hard to develop the ICOPA2022 conference YOU would like to attend.

But we need input from you as well! Please note that the deadline for submission of Symposium proposals is 31 January, 2022. 

Deadline for abstracts is 8 March, 2022. You can browse the list of Abstract topics here.

So, please go ahead an submit!