In February the Starworms project kicked off at Ghent. The event was attended by 26 partipants representing 15 different partners from Asia, Africa and Latin-America (participants list and agenda). The specific objectives of the 3-day meeting were to
- present the final protocol
- agree on the data management and data entry procedures
- outline the monitoring visits
- demonstrate the diagnostic tools.
The morning of Day 1 was dedicated to provide an overview of the entire project, followed by a detail discussion on the study protocol of work package 1. In the afternoon the different study sites (Brazil, Ethiopia, Lao PDR and Tanzania) were presented and updates were shared on the Helminth Egg Automtic Counter (HEAD, software to automate egg counting) and the different diagnostic assays which are going to be applied in the project, including both the microscopic (FECPAKG2 and Mini-FLOTAC) and molecular based diagnostics (qPCR, pyrosequecning and LAMP).
Days 2 and 3 were dedicated to workshops on data management and data entry procedures, outline the monitoring visits and the diagnostic tools, including FECKPAKG2 and Mini-FLOTAC. As illustrated below, the particpants were invited to hands-on sessions.
These sessions revealed to most usefull, as they helped in
- further simplifying the different forms
- indentifying potential obstacles in processing a large number of stool samples
- pinning down important gaps in standard operating