Research in Leishmaniasis: Analysis and Applied Methodologies


After this unit, students should be able to: 1. To be able to apply the knowledge to select and carry out the main laboratory methodologies used for the diagnosis of leishmaniasis, including the ones for molecular species identification.
2. To have the ability to integrate knowledge and skilful with a reflection on the potential impact of climate and environmental changes on phlebotomine sand flies and on vector transmission of trypanosomatids, namely the genus Leishmania.
3. To have the ability to identify through molecular techniques infections by trypanosomatid in vectors.
4. To be able to prepare and present of a research proposal under this CU.
5. To have the ability to integrate knowledge and reflect on the use of animal models in research.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Sofia Cortes


Weekly - Se a UC for oferecida como opcional, o horário será disponibilizado no 2º semestre

Total - 34

Teaching language



Attendance of 2/3 of classes is mandatory


• Schönian et al. (2003) PCR diagnosis and characterization of Leishmania in local and imported clinical samples. Diagn. Microbiol. Infect. Dis. 47, 349–358.
• Van der Auwera G et al. (2016). Comparison of Leishmania typing results in 16 European clinical laboratories. Eurosurveillance, 21(49): pii=30418.
• Fischer, D., Thomas, S. M., Beierkuhnlein C. (2010). Temperature derived potential for the establishment of phlebotomine sandflies and visceral leishmaniasis in Germany. Geospatial Health, 5, 5969.
• Barrett MP (2018) The elimination of human African trypanosomiasis is in sight: Report from the third WHO stakeholders meeting on elimination of gambiense human African trypanosomiasis. PLoS Negl Trop Dis 12(12): e0006925.
• Hau, J., and Schapiro, S. J. (2010). Handbook of laboratory animal science. Essential principles and practices. London: CRC Press.

Teaching method

The methodology used in classes is essentially expository, based on the use of PowerPoint slide presentations and posters. Most teaching hours are practical or theoretical-practical with the execution of techniques, problem solving, analysis and discussion. In practical sessions theoretical knowledge will be applied. Students in groups of 2-3 each will draw and will prepare a PowerPoint slide presentation regarding a proposal for a research project on the themes addressed in UC, followed by discussion of the subject, objectives, material and methods and waiting results.

Evaluation method

The final evaluation of the UC is composed of: active participation in practical classes (20%) and evaluation given to the research project (80%). To obtain approval in the UC, attendance in at least 2/3 of the classes is mandatory, and a final average ≥ 10.

Subject matter

I. Climate change on vector-borne transmission of Leishmania; variations in the current vectorial parameters; to recognize, monitor, control and mitigate the infection transmission.
II. Guided tour of the Animal facility of IHMT with the team and the Head of that Service. Analysis and discussion of standard operating procedures in the use of rodent models.
III. Canine leishmaniasis presentation- laboratory, clinical and therapeutic aspects.
IV. Microscopic observation of sand flies and tsetse flies infected by trypanosomatids.
V. Execution of the main tools used in laboratory research under the topic of the CU. Discussion of results and conclusions.
VI. Presentation by students of potential projects in trypanosomatids and their vectors.


Programs where the course is taught: