Research from helminth EV workshop published as Special Issue of IJP

The study of helminth extracellular vesicles (EVs) and the roles these membranous structures play in the complex processes of migration and maturation in infected hosts has become an area of growing research in recent years.

In support of this growing field the BCHC was privileged to support a two-day workshop held in association with the Parasitic Helminth Conference on the beautiful island of Hydra in Greece in September 2019. The products of which have now been published as a special issue of International Journal for Parasitology.

This workshop was organised to help create a strong community for dialogue on the ideas surrounding helminth EV research and the challenges faced by this emerging field. In the warm September sunshine 30 researchers from 17 different countries came together to disseminate recent research findings in EV’s across helminth models, discuss the challenges and opportunities associated with EV research in helminths and also to learn from experts in the broader EV field on the technical challenges and emerging biological properties of EVs that are relevant to helminth and helminth infection research.

The meeting concluded with a round table discussion where all participants discussed what was required to ensure rigour in the helminth EV research community and how to make more visible the importance of helminth EV research in understanding fundamental aspects of EV biology and function in animals.

The culmination of this two-day workshop has now been published as a special issue of the International Journal for Parasitology and comprises 10 articles of work that was presented or discussed at the meeting and includes topics related to EV biogenesis/origins, biomolecule composition, host cell interactions/modulation, and the potential utility of EVs and their various moieties as novel therapeutics, diagnostics and vaccines.

The organisers of this special issue, of which BCHC Director Prof Karl Hoffmann is one, hope the publication of this body of work will facilitate stronger engagement with specialists in the wider EV field and will initiate greater collaborations amongst the helminth EV community.

The organisers would like to extend their thanks to the Hydra Conference Organisers, Bratsera Hotel, Elsevier, International Journal for Parasitology and International Society for Extracellular Vesicles for their valued and continued support.