Since the discovery of the field of ecology of infectious diseases, I have been exploring different methodologies used by this field to find new aspects of different infectious disease systems. My current work focus on ecological models applied to better understand and characterize patterns of disease spread in Ecuador and other countries under present-day and future climate conditions.
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After the discovery of Amphimerus spp. fluke in the biliary ducts of humans in 2011 in the north part of Ecuador on Esmeraldas province, we have been reconstructing its life cycle in different endemic areas localized in the country. For this matter we have identified intermediarie hosts and reservoirs with basic parasitological techniques and molecular approaches.
Epidemiology of superbugs and antibiotic resistance
Is the battle against antibiotic resistance a lost war? In the hospital field where the fight is overwhelming, bad prescriptions of antibiotics and unexpected outbreaks are daily news. Understanding the problem and how prevent it is key to shift our position to the winning side, thus, education to all the people involved plays a major role.
There are at least seven species of Leishmania parasites in the country that cause the skin disease known as cutaneous leishmaniasis with a broad array of clinical manifestations. We characterize the geographical distribution of the parasite in Ecuador capturing sandflies (the vector for transmission) and collecting samples from affected individuals for molecular diagnosis.
Paragonimus mexicanus is a lung-fluke that causes a chronic lung infection usually misdiagnosed as Tuberculosis with the consequences of a long-term toxic treatment. Ecuador is an endemic country of paragonimiasis with active transmission in different areas. People get infected when consuming undercooked freshwater crabs. We are identifing the components of its life cycle while we look for and treat paragonimiasis affected patients.
We have depicted a first epidemiological survey throughout the country to show the prevalence of intestinal parasites by collecting fecal samples and engaging with rural communities in different areas of Ecuador.
Courses: Biodiversity Informatics applied to Public Health
With Luis E. Escobar and César Yumiseva, we recently dictated a workshop on the application of ecological niche models to forecast infectious diseases distribution in the Ecuador as part of the IV International Meeting of Infectious Disesase Research and Tropical Medicine. More to come!
Antorcha Verde is a free digital magazine that promotes scientific outreach in spanish. This iniciative is part of the Society of Scientific Communication Quinto Pilar. The image is the portrait of our last edition.
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