General Parasitology


It is our intention to promote the acquisition of notions / general concepts of Medical Parasitology in its three strands Medical Protozoology, Helminthology and Entomology, transmitting / deepening also notions on the epidemiology, diagnosis and control of major human parasitic diseases.
When this course is finished students should be able to:
1. Define the concept of Medical Parasitology in its three strands, Protozoology, Helminthology and Entomology.
2. Describe the main groups of protozoa and helminths and their differential morphological features.
3. Assess the impact of parasitism at the clinical, economic and social level, and its epidemiology.
4. Know and perform basic techniques for the study of the main parasites of medical importance.
5. Know the medical importance of arthropods either as disease agents or as vectors of pathogens, and their intervention in various pathologies.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Olga Matos


Weekly - 8

Total - 42

Teaching language



Attendance of 2/3 of classes is mandatory


• W Petters and Geoffrey Pasvol. 2007. Atlas of Tropical Medicine and Parasitology. 6th Edition. Elsevier Science London, UK.
• Garcia L. S. 2007. Diagnostic Medical Parasitology. 5ª edição. ASM Press. Washington, DC, USA.
• Manson's Tropical Diseases. 2002. 21ª edição, Cook G. C. and Zumla A. I. (Ed.),WB Saunders, London, UK.

Teaching method

Lectures, problem-solving, practical classes.

Evaluation method

The final rating will be assigned on a scale of 0-20 values, based on: an examination consisting of a theoretical part (weighting 60%) with 30 multiple choice questions; and a practical part (40% weighting) in which students will have to identify examples of parasites and insect vectors presented in practical classes of Protozoology, Helminthology and Entomology. The student will be approved if it has a final grade equal to or greater than 10.

Subject matter

I. General concepts of Parasitology.
II. Laboratory methods for diagnosis of human parasitoses.Observation and identification of specimens.
III. Medical Helminthology: Cestodes, Trematodes and Nematodes.
IV. Medical Entomology: Sand flies (Diptera, Psychodidae).
V. Mosquitoes. Subfamilies Anophelinae, Culicinae and toxorhynchites. Main species with medical significance. Identification of specimens.
VI. Medical Protozoology: Trypanosomatidae Family: Trypanosoma cruzi, Trypanosoma brucei sp. and Leishmania spp.. Plasmodium spp. and malaria of human interest: biology, epidemiology and clinic, diagnosis and treatment.
VII. Commensal and pathogenic intestinal protozoa: general concepts. Tissue protozoans: Toxoplasma gondii and acquired toxoplasmosis in immunocompetent and immunocompromised hosts. Opportunistic intestinal protozoa (Cryptosporidium, Isospora, Cyclospora) and Microsporidium. Other opportunistic protists: Pneumocystis jirovecii and pneumocystosis. Microscopic observation of microorganisms.