Maria Flaminia Persichetti wins the 2018 Young Scientist Award

(09.07.2018) The 2018 ABCD Young Scientist Award funded by Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health was presented to Dr Maria Flaminia Persichetti (32), of the Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale della Sicilia ‘A. Mirri’, for her work on feline vector borne diseases in southern Italy.

She explained: ‘Some vector-borne pathogens of zoonotic concern were detected in cats and in their ectoparasites. In our survey, we found molecular evidence of Bartonella, Rickettsia, Babesia vogeli and Leishmania infantum in fleas and ticks and the DNA of Bartonella, L. infantum and Haemoplasmas in cats.

This shows that in endemic areas such as Italy, a national surveillance and prevention programme for both humans and animals might be a good idea.’


Maria Flaminia Persichetti (centre), recipient of the 2018 ABCD Young Scientist Award flanked by Jean-Christophe Thibault (Boehringer Ingelheim) and ABCD board member Maria Grazia Pennisi (at right) who presented the award.

‘Dr Persichetti’s work shows an excellent range of research which is novel and relevant to feline infectious disease and One health,’ commented Dr Karin Moestl, chair of the European Advisory Board on Cat Diseases (ABCD).

‘Dr Persichetti undertook an impressive study using serological and molecular methods on various pathogens of clinical relevance. She is a deserving recipient of the award,’ commented Dr Jean-Christophe Thibault, Boehringer Ingelheim’s Global Technical Director for Companion Animal vaccines.

The award (1000€) was presented to Maria Flaminia Persichetti by the ABCD at the congress of the International Society of Feline Medicine, held from 28 June to 1 July 2018 in Sorrento, Italy. The 2017 recipient of the award was Maciej Parys (University of Edinburgh).

The Young Scientist Award, created in 2008, is presented to young scientists in veterinary or biomedical sciences, who have made an original contribution in the field of feline infectious diseases and/or immunology.

Applicants should have published their findings in a journal listed in PubMed or Web of Science or have had them accepted by another recognised assessing body.

Candidates should be based in Europe, have completed a veterinary or biomedical curriculum, and be under 35 years of age at the time of application. Applications in the fields of both basic and applied sciences are welcome.



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