PortfolioAlfons Renz

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Academic title:
PD Dr.
Alfons Renz
Organizational unit:
Institute of Evolution and Ecology
Department of Biology

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Since 1976, he is conducting field studies on the epidemiology, transmission and control of onchocerciasis in Cameroon. Together with colleagues from Liverpool and Cameroon, he established the bovine Onchocera ochengi filarial model in Ngaoundere, North-Cameroon.

His main interest is the biology of Onchocerca parasites and their Simulium vector flies. Milestones of his research in Cameroon were the definitions of a tolerable level of onchocerciasis in 1977 (ATP 100 and ABR 1000), the design of mathematical models for onchocerciasis (1986), the development of the bovine chemotherapy model (1993), successful vaccination of cattle by a live heterologeous antigen (L3 of O. volvulus, 2001), and the discovery of the antifilarial activity of Doxycycline by killing endosymbiotic Wohlbachia-bacteria (1997).

Since 2008, his research focuses on excretory/secretory products of O. ochengi, their action in the cross-talk with the bovine host and the epidemiologicals aspects of onchocerciasis-erdication by ivermectin-masstreatment. He teaches parasitology, medical entomology and epidemiology at the Tübingen university.

In Cameron, he heads the Programme Onchocercoses Reserach Laboratory in Ngaoundéré, North-Cameroon (see: www.riverblindness.eu). Together with Dr. Albert Eisenbarth (UT), Prof. Achukwi and Dr. Kingsley Manchang (IRAD Cameroon), he set up an experimental herd of Gudali-Zebu cattle, naturally exposed to Onchocerca ochengi transmission on a paddock near the perennially flowing river Vina-duNord, where the Simulium damnosum s.l. vector flies breed perennialy. Acquistion of Onchocerca nodules and turn-over of microfilariae is followed-up in a longitudinal study since 2009. This is an unique possibility to study the biology of nodule-forming Onchocerca filarial parasites, which may life almost as long (6 to 10 years) as theirt cattle hosts (up to 20 years).


Alfons Renz
Alfons Renz
Rolf Eisenmann




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