First Annual Conference on Aedes Invasive Mosquito COST ACTION (AIM-COST): with MC and WG Meeting of the COST Action CA17108
Local Organizer: Antonios Michaelakis, Benaki Phytopathological Institute, Athens, Greece
Location: ATHENS, TITANIA HOTEL
Dates: 13-14 February, 2019
Work Group 2 Meeting Minutes
In the news:
The COST Action “Aedes Invasive Mosquitoes” (AIM, http://www.aedescost.eu) has been awarded four years of funding to foster the development of synergies between scientists, stakeholders and decision-makers and improve preparedness necessary to prevent significant public health risks caused by invasive Aedes mosquitoes. The role of project coordinator is covered by the Dipartimento di Sanità Pubblica & Malattie Infettive in Università di Roma "La Sapienza" (Rome, Italy), having as partners universities, institutions, private companies from more than 30 countries in Europe and neighbouring regions.
The problem of Aedes Invasive Mosquitoes is becoming of primary importance globally since they are aggressive day-time biters capable of transmitting viruses. Most famously, the Asian tiger mosquito, has already been responsible for recent local cases and outbreaks of chikungunya and dengue viruses in Europe.
To combat the growing concerns over these mosquitoes and minimise disease risk, the COST group intends to build capacity across Europe and neighbouring regions to address the heterogeneity in preparedness and capacity to fight against AIMs. To this direction AIM COST prepared a questionnaire to find what needs to be done to improve and harmonise existing guidelines for the surveillance and control of Aedes invasive mosquitoes.
The 1st Annual Conference of AIM COST Action initiated the collaboration between the stakeholders in Europe and neighbouring regions. This was achieved by assembling a critical mass of medical and veterinary entomologists, epidemiologists and public health professionals to create a broad consensus on how best to implement surveillance (Work Group 1) and control interventions (Work Group 2) within a standardized, innovative and sustainable framework, taking advantage of modern citizen science approaches and ensuring effective dissemination of outputs (Work Group 3).
The primary objectives for the Conference are to
a) Provide a platform to showcase a number of related projects and agency activities (February 13th, afternoon/ 14th morning);
b) Present a questionnaire to the participants to help assess how to harmonise existing surveillance and control guidelines, to be completed during the meeting by all participants (February 14th morning); and
c) Present Work Group activities to the end of April 2019 and discuss plans for Work Group activities, Short Term Scientific Missions and Training Workshops during the next Grant Period (February 14th afternoon)
The following participants are automatically eligible for reimbursement:
- Management Committee Members (or MC Substitutes if the MC Members cannot attend);
- Invited speakers and Participants;
Those not in these categories who wish to attend the meeting and be reimbursed may apply by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and attaching a letter of motivation (template/application form available at this link).
Applications should be received by 10th January 2019. If the number of applicants exceeds the number that can be supported by the available budget, the Management Committee (MC) of the Action selected applicants to be reimbursed by e-vote. Selection was based on the letter of motivation received, taking into account geographic and gender balance, and inclusiveness of Early Career Investigators. The list of participants selected for reimbursement was announced by 15th January 2019. Formal invitations then were sent out via the eCOST system. Applicants that apply but are not selected as eligible for reimbursement are nevertheless welcome to join the meeting at their own expense.
According to COST rules, all participants that are eligible for reimbursement are expected to initially pay all the expenses themselves and provide evidence of expenses incurred via the eCOST system. Participants were reimbursed after the meeting for a maximum of two nights (12th & 13th of February).