President’s Message

Masaru Natsuaki, MD, PhD
(Department of Dermatology, Hyogo College of Medicine, Japan)

President of Japan Society of Medical Entomology and Zoology, 2021-

I have been appointed as the 24th President of the Japan Society of Medical Entomology and Zoology. I am a clinical dermatologist, and for many years I have focused on harmful arthropods as causes of skin disorders and have conducted research in this field. Upon my appointment, I plan to contribute to the further advancement of this academic society by promoting cooperation between directors and members of various committees, and I would very much appreciate the support of all our members in this endeavor.

Members of our society study animals that harm human physical and mental health, for example by sucking blood, biting, parasitism, transmitting infectious diseases, and causing discomfort. The Japan Society of Medical Entomology and Zoology is an academic society that studies the morphology, classification, ecology, and so on of these animals, investigates their habitats and the status of resulting diseases/injuries, and examines the causes, pathophysiology, mechanism of onset, treatment, and preventive measures of diseases caused by them. The Society was established in 1943 as The Japan Society of Sanitary Entomology and was given its current name in 1950. The Society held its first annual convention in 1949 and, by 2021, has held 73 conventions.

However, due to the spread of COVID-19, unfortunately the 72nd convention in 2020 had to be canceled as an in-person event and was held only in the form of publications based on previously published abstracts. In 2021, the 73rd convention was held online, allowing members to present their research results without having to gather in person at the venue. Although no end of the pandemic is currently in sight, we must continue to perform the activities of the academic society while taking the necessary precautions. Therefore, I would like to encourage all members to continue to take measures to protect themselves and their co-workers against infection but nevertheless to carry on working on their respective research activities.

While the world is still grappling with COVID-19, tick-borne infections such as severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome and Japanese spotted fever are spreading in Japan. In addition, we need to pay attention to alien species, such as red imported fire ants, which may invade and colonize the country. Troubles such as dermatitis caused by bed bugs continue to be observed and may further increase in the future once COVID-19 restrictions ease and people start to move more. Once exchanges and interactions with foreign countries resume, the risk of importing mosquito-borne infections such as dengue fever and Zika virus infection into Japan is expected to increase. In addition, many other issues remain that we should address, such as fact-finding surveys and countermeasures against various harmful arthropods and other animals. We would like to promote cooperation with related fields and to support the activities of our members. Presenting the results of surveys and research at our convention and publishing them in our academic journal Medical Entomology and Zoology helps to share knowledge among members and contributes to society as a whole by disseminating information to non-members. To that end, I believe that it is important to hold a convention, where many members can participate and enjoy communication with others, and to further enhance the content of the academic journal.

I sincerely hope that all members will be able to continue their activities in good health, and I look forward to seeing all of you at the upcoming convention.

(June 23, 2021)