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Parasites, and the infections they cause, are a major cause of global health and socio-economic burden. They cause substantial morbidity and mortality in humans and animals worldwide, and major losses to global food production. This subject focuses on medically-important parasites, how they interact with their hosts and cause disease, and how these infections impact on human health and populations globally.
This subject takes a broad, multi-disciplinary approach to introduce students to the excitingly complex and diverse world of medically important parasites. Aspects of host-parasite interactions and disease pathogenesis (including immune evasion mechanisms and relevant host defences), as well as parasite life-cycles, transmission, diagnosis, prevention (including vaccine and drug development), treatment, control and impact on human health locally and globally will be covered. Topics will be addressed from the disciplinary perspectives of microbiology, immunology, biochemistry, cellular and molecular biology, genomics, physiology and epidemiology. Examples of medically-important protists (unicellular eukaryotes), helminths (worms) and arthropods (including insects) will be studied.
This subject consists of lectures and active-learning sessions, including practicals. It is delivered by internationally renowned parasitologists and global health researchers.
Intended learning outcomes
- Describe and discuss fundamental concepts of host-parasite interactions and disease pathogenesis, including parasite life-cycles, transmission, diagnosis, prevention, treatment, control and epidemiology;
- Describe and discuss the complexity of host-parasite relationships, including parasite immune evasion mechanisms and defence mechanisms of the host;
- Describe and discuss the impact of host-parasite interactions on human health locally and globally;
- Apply knowledge about parasites to recommend potential prevention, treatment and control strategies;
- Describe and apply the principles and procedures for the identification and characterisation of parasites and the infections they cause;
- Keep clear and accurate laboratory records of all practical work;
- Critically analyse scientific data to form evidence-based conclusions and effectively communicate scientific ideas and findings in both oral and written forms;
- Effectively work in group work activities to generate, analyse and communicate scientific findings within and outside the Laboratory; and
- Demonstrate safe scientific work practices.
On completion of this subject, students should have developed the following generic skills:
- the ability to interpret scientific literature and data from electronic databases
- the capacity to integrate knowledge across disciplines
- the ability to comprehend a question, evaluate the relevant information and communicate an answer
- the ability to think independently and analytically, and direct his or her own learning; and
- the ability to manage time effectively in order to be prepared for regular classes, tests and the examination
Last updated: 18 December 2020