I am a veterinarian (Universidade de Évora, 2005) with an MSc in Biodiversity and Conservation (University of Leeds, 2014). During my PhD (Universitat de Barcelona, 2018), I have conducted a field trial of a vaccine against canine leishmaniasis, while performing epidemiological studies on the phlebotomine vectors and Leishmania infantum infection on the canine population of an endemic area. As a post-doc researcher in the field of acarology,
I have worked in vector population genetics, anti-tick vaccine development, tick microbiome studies and tick-borne pathogen surveillance in vectors and vertebrate hosts. In 2022, I have joined the malaria team at IHMT, where I have been working in the optimization of a blood-free diet for Anopheles mosquitoes lab rearing, while exploring its applicability as a vehicle for mosquito physiology modulation.
Rita Velez is currently working as a post-doc researcher in the optimization of a blood-free diet for Anopheles mosquitoes lab rearing.
- Velez R., De Meeûs T., Beati L., Younsi H., Zhioua E., Antunes S., Domingos A., Sampaio D.A., Carpinteiro D., Moerbeck L., Estrada-Peña A., Santos-Silva M.M., Santos A.S. 2023. Development and testing of microsatellite loci for the study of population genetics of Ixodes ricinus Linnaeus, 1758 and Ixodes inopinatus Estrada-Peña, Nava & Petney, 2014 (Acari: Ixodidae) in the western Mediterranean region. Acarologia 63(2):356-372. https://doi.org/10.24349/bvem-4h49.
- Velez R., Gállego M. 2020. Commercially approved vaccines for canine leishmaniosis: a review of available data on their safety and efficacy. Tropical Medicine & International Health (IF: 2.622), 25(5):540-557 http://doi.org/10.1111/tmi.13382.
- Velez R., Domenech E., Rodríguez-Cortés A., Barrios D., Tebar S., Fernández-Arévalo A., Aguilar R., Dobaño C., Alberola J., Cairó J., Gállego M. 2020. Evaluation of canine leishmaniosis vaccine CaniLeish® under field conditions in native dog populations from an endemic Mediterranean area – A randomized controlled trial. Acta Tropica (IF: 3.112), 205:105387. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.actatropica.2020.105387.
- Willen L., Lestinova T., Kalousková B., Sumova P., Spitzova T., Velez R., Domenech E., Vaněk O., Gállego M., Mertens P., Volf P. 2019. Field study of the improved rapid sand fly exposure test in areas endemic for canine leishmaniasis. PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases 13(11):e0007832. http://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pntd.0007832.
- Velez R., Ballart C., Domenech E., Abras A., Fernández-Arévalo A., Gómez S.A., Tebar S., Muñoz C., Cairó J., Gállego M. 2019. Seroprevalence of canine Leishmania infantum infection in the Mediterranean region and identification of risk factors: the example of North-Eastern and Pyrenean areas of Spain. Preventive Veterinary Medicine 162, 67-75. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.prevetmed.2018.10.015.