NVP General

voor nederlandse tekst zie hieronder

The objectives, activities and history (1961-2006) of the Netherlands Society of Parasitology (NVP):


Objectives and activities: summary


  • To promote and exchange scientific knowledge of infectious diseases caused by parasites.
  • To promote knowledge of diagnostics and treatment of parasitic infections.
  • To stimulate the quality of laboratory diagnostics of parasitic infections in the Netherlands.

Activities related to diagnostics of human parasites in the Netherlands: 

  • Organisation and supervision of communication between diagnostic centers.
  • Promotion and supervision of the organisation of scientific meetings.
  • Contribution to the organisation of quality assurance of medical laboratory diagnostics.
  • Providing of travel grants to NVP members for attending scientific meetings or courses.
  • Accreditation of courses in the field of laboratory diagnostics of human parasites.

Activities of the Society related to parasitological research in the Netherlands

  • Organisation of scientific meetings.
  • Providing of travel grants to NVP-members for attending scientific meetings or courses.
  • The board of the NVP and Merial B.V. have introduced in 1996 the Merial Award for Parasitology. The Merial Award is attributed each year for parasitology related research.
  • Supervision of the application, examination and registration as a qualified researcher in the field of parasitology via the 'SMBWO'.


Board of the NVP 


Contact the NVP 



Founding of the NVP

The Netherlands Society for Parasitology (NVP) was founded in Leiden on 2 June 1961. Dr. Jaap Jansen had received a letter from the International Federation of Parasitologists (later known as the World Federation of Parasitologists) announcing that national associations could become affiliated with the Federation. The inaugural meeting was held at the Laboratory for Parasitology on Rapenburg in Leiden. The society’s first officers were Prof. P.H. van Thiel as chairperson, Dr. J. Jansen as secretary and Dr. H.J. Over as treasurer. The first general meeting was held on 29 September 1961 in the Institute for Veterinary Virology in the Gildestein building in Utrecht. In addition to offering a forum for society business, it was also the occasion of the first scientific meeting, with 6 speakers.



Aim of the NVP

In the years of its existence, the NVP has stimulated and supported activities to further scientific research of parasites and to improve the quality of diagnostics and treatment of parasitic infections (see also  Objectives and activities: summary)


The NVP’s executive committee (see also Board of the NVP)

The executive committee has always included a chair, a secretary and a treasurer, although in some years it was expanded to include one or two additional members. See the table  for the names of all members of the executive committee.


Members (registration as a member)

Since its founding, the NVP has been a professional association for people who conduct scientific research of parasitic infections and who are involved in diagnostics and treatment of parasitic infections on a daily basis. Shortly after its founding in 1961 the society had some 40 members. Their number grew to around 170 in the year 2000, reaching around 250 in 2001-2005.


Membership fee (registration as a member)

The membership fee has always been relatively low. When the society was founded in 1961, the membership fee was fixed at NLG 2.50 per year. In 1999/2000, just before the euro replaced the Dutch guilder, membership was NLG 35 per year; in 2006 it was fixed at EUR 30.


Scientific meetings

An important objective of the society has always been to encourage communication between scientific researchers of parasitic infections as well as the exchange of results of scientific research. For this purpose, the society held two scientific meetings in spring and autumn of each year. The first such meeting was held in Utrecht on 29 September 1961. Several times, scientific meetings or conferences were organised with the sister societies in Belgium (Belgische Vereniging voor Parasitologie/Protozoölogie), Germany (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Parasitologie, DGP) and the United Kingdom (British Society for Parasitology, BSP). Since 2002 the organisation has held one scientific meeting in the spring, with the autumn meeting being organised by the society’s Work Group for Clinical Parasitology. This meeting focuses on the diagnostics and treatment of parasitic infections in humans. Grants are regularly obtained from the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) for these scientific meetings.


SMBWO Certification in Parasitology

Since 1981, a foundation (Stichting Medisch-Biologisch Wetenschappelijk Onderzoeker, SMBWO) has served as an umbrella organisation for postdoctoral programmes in medicine and medical biology in the Netherlands and also monitors their quality. Since 1996, participants can obtain SMBWO certification as parasitology researchers. The Testing and Evaluation Committee (CTB), staffed by Prof. Frans van Knapen, Prof. Bruno Gryseels and Prof. Lodewijk Tielens, oversees and evaluates the registration and certification of researchers as ‘Medical/Biological Scientific Researcher in Parasitology’ by the foundation. As of 2006, 19 researchers were registered.


Merial Award for Parasitology

In 1996 a special prize for research in parasitology was instituted by the NVP chair, Prof. Albert Cornelissen, and Erik Pieke of Merial B.V. (then known as Merck, Sharpe and Dohme). The recipient of this 'Merial Award for Parasitology' is awarded a certificate and EUR 2500; it is a competitive prize and is given each year to a young researcher from the Benelux who has made a significant scientific contribution in the field of veterinary or medical parasitology.


Quality Assessment in parasitological laboratory diagnostics: SPLD and SKML

An important focus of the NVP has always been assuring quality of parasitological laboratory diagnostics in the Netherlands. In 1980 the executive committee (Prof. Frans van Knapen, Dr. Jan Peter Verhave, Dr. Hans Sluiters, Prof. André Deelder, Dr. Theo Schetters) established a foundation (Stichting Cursus Parasitologische Laboratorium Diagnostiek, SPLD)  the aim of which was ‘to further parasitological laboratory diagnostics and achieve and maintain the highest possible standards in this field’. The SPLD was made responsible for external quality assessment by sending out schemes for  ‘microscopic parasitological diagnostics’. During the early years the assessment schemes were organised by the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM), headed by Prof. Frans van Knapen. Later these activities were taken over by the Department for Medical Parasitology of Radboud University Hospital in Nijmegen, where Dr. Jan Peter Verhave was in charge. He continued to do this work until 2005. From 1998 to 2002 between 100 and 110 hospitals and laboratories participated in the assessment schemes. In July 2002, the work passed from the SPLD to the Dutch Foundation for Quality Assessment in Clinical Laboratories (Stichting Kwaliteitsbewaking Medische Laboratoriumdiagnostiek, SKML). Dr. Hans Sluiters in particular played an active role in the process of transition . He was involved from the beginning in setting up the SKML, which was officially established in June 2004.  The transition to the SKML was basically an organisational matter as the content of the schemes was always overseen by the NVP. The NVP has always been represented in the SKML by the Parasitology section. The first chairperson of this section was Dr. Lisette van Lieshout, who was appointed in 2002. She played a pivotal role in setting up the section and streamlining the structure behind the schemes within the SKML. When Dr. Jan Peter Verhave stepped down in 2006, coordination of the schemes for the Parasitology section of the SKML was taken over by Dr. Pieter Beckers. Between 2003 and 2006, the number of participating hospitals and laboratories reduced to around 95.
The SPLD was also an active proponent of further training in medical parasitological laboratory diagnostics on a national level. Most such training courses were actually organised and held by local offices for post-graduate university training and by institutes for tertiary laboratory technology. Since the founding of quality control foundation SKML, the NVP’s executive committee has become the prime mover in coordinating and overseeing the training courses that are available, and offers accreditation for courses that meet certain criteria.
Although the actual assessment schemes were shifted from the SPLD to the SKML in 2002, furthering medical parasitology in the Netherlands has remained one of the core responsibilities of the SPLD. The foundation continues to stimulate and subsidise activities intended to improve diagnosis and therapy. Some examples are the annual theme sessions at the spring meetings of the Netherlands Society for Medical Microbiology (NVMM) and the annual meeting of SKML participants.


Clinical Parasitology Working Group (NVMM)

Since the founding of the NVP, several working groups have occupied themselves with developments in epidemiology, diagnosis and treatment of parasitic infections in the Netherlands. The Clinical Parasitology Working group was set up in 2001, combining the NVMM sections in the eastern and western parts of the country; Dr. Theo Mank played a major role in its founding. The new working group meets several times a year. Initially separate meetings were held in the western and eastern parts of the country, but since 2005 their meetings have been joint. Since 2003, the Clinical parasitology Working Group has held a mini-symposium each autumn on a specific theme. These meetings are subsidised by NVP and SPLD.


Publication of the book ‘Medische Parasitologie: handleiding bij de laboratoriumdiagnostiek’

To further and systematise diagnosis in medical parasitology in the Netherlands, the NVP lent its support to the publication of a book (Medische Parasitologie: handleiding bij de laboratoriumdiagnostiek) in 1988. This manual, a collaborative project, was written by Dr. Ton Polderman, Dr. Netty Rijpstra, Coby Blotkamp, Dr. Frans van Knapen, Prof. Jaap Laarman, Prof. Joep Meuwissen, Dr. Hans Sluiters, Dr. Jan Peter Verhave and J. C. M. Wesseling, with Ton Polderman and Netty Rijpstra editing the final version. The significance of this publication was that, for the first time, medical parasitologists working in the Netherlands reached agreement on the methods to be used in parasitological diagnostics. The book has become a standard work for parasitological laboratory diagnostics in this country. Second and third impressions were published by Bohn Stafleu Van Loghum in 1993 and 1998. In 2003 the executive committee of the NVP (Prof. Lodewijk Tielens, Dr. Chris Janse) asked Dr. Ton Polderman to coordinate a new and completely revised edition. Once more, a large number of experts in the field of medical parasitology collaborated in compiling the fully revised edition, published by Syntax Media in 2005.


The NVP website

In 2000 the executive committee decided to set up a website for the society. The first version of the website, designed and developed by Dr. Chris Janse in collaboration with Prof. Lodewijk Tielens, was ready in 2001. In 2004 the website was expanded with a members-only section specifically intended for organising the quality circulars on parasitological laboratory diagnostics. A second website was created in 2005 with information on parasitic infections and diagnostic methods in humans. Under the management of Dr. Chris Janse and Dr. Lisette van Lieshout, this website is a compilation of contributions from a large number of experts in the field of medical parasitology.
In 2006 the society’s website and the medical parasitology website were combined. This entirely new website went online in September 2007. Initially the work of Auke van Wigcheren of the Department of Parasitology of the LUMC (Leiden), the technical realisation of the websites was outsourced to StudioDrie in 2003.


Table: Members of the NVP’s executive committee since its founding in 1961

Members of the NVP’s executive committee since its founding in 1961



De Nederlandse Vereniging voor Parasitologie (NVP) is een beroepsvereniging voor mensen die zich bezig houden met wetenschappelijk onderzoek aan parasitaire infecties en voor mensen die in de dagelijkse praktijk betrokken zijn bij de diagnostiek en behandeling van parasitaire infecties

De NVP stimuleert en ondersteunt activiteiten die leiden tot een verbetering van de kwaliteit van de diagnostiek en behandeling van parasitaire infecties en van het wetenschappelijk onderzoek aan parasieten.

Dit gebeurt onder andere door:

  • De organisatie van congressen en nascholingsbijeenkomsten.
  • Het verstrekken van vakinhoudelijke informatie via de website van de NVP.
  • Het verstrekken van subsidies aan leden van de NVP voor deelname aan congressen of cursussen.
  • Accreditatie van na- en bijscholingscursussen Medische Parasitologische Diagnostiek.
  • Een actieve rol te vervullen bij de externe kwaliteitsbewaking van de parasitologische diagnostiek, die plaatsvindt binnen de Stichting Kwaliteitsbewaking Medische Laboratoriumdiagnostiek (SKML).

Zie ook Bestuur van de NVP 

Zie ook Geschiedenis van de NVP

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