Medical Protozoology


After this unit, students should be able to:
1. Apply the knowledge and skills to identify the principal parasitosis caused by protozoa of medical relevance and recognize the pathophysiology and clinical aspects caused by these microorganisms.
2. Apply their knowledge in the context of diagnosis of protozoa.
3. Integrate the obtained knowledge and skilful with a reflection on the social and ethical responsibilities related to the application of knowledge and judgments especially in field studies and parasite control interventions.
4. Communicate their conclusions and the knowledge and reasoning that support scientific and civic community.
5. Have the learning skills that enable them to pursue studies in their field of study self-directed or in an autonomous mode.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Henrique Silveira


Weekly - 5,5

Total - 111

Teaching language



Not applicable


• Cook, G.C. and Zumla, A.L. (Eds). (2014). Manson’s Tropical Diseases. London: Saunders Elsevier.;
• Garcia, L.S. (2007). Diagnostic Medical Parasitology. Washington, DC: ASM Press.;
• Rey, L. (2008). Parasitologia. RJ. GuanabaraKoogan.;
• Satoskar, A.R. (Ed). (2009.) Medical Parasitology. Texas: Landes Bioscience.;
• World Health Organization (1991). Basic lab methods in medical parasitolology. Retrieved from ;

Teaching method

Theoretical and TP classes essentially rely on expository methods. TP will serve as basic knowledge transfer, supporting the students in the development of a critical attitude towards problem solving. Microscopic observation of protozoa and other laboratory techniques will be performed in Practical classes, reinforcing the knowledge obtained in T and TP lectures. In the seminars students will be divided in groups and each of them will have to prepare an oral presentation with visual support, regarding the analysis, discussion and conclusions of scientific papers related with the research topics of the CU.

Evaluation method

The evaluation will consist in a theoretical test of choice answers (50%) and a practical test of 1h with the observation of 3 preparations of biological samples for the presumptive diagnosis of protozoa (20%). Evaluation of the work presented in the seminars will take into account: selected theme, clarity of exposition, scientific content and the correct use of terminology (30%).

Subject matter

I. Major parasitic infections caused by protozoa of medical interest: General concepts (One Health, emerging reemerging, neglected, poverty, vector-borne diseases, zoonosis, anthroponosis and other concepts related to parasitism and ecosystems).
II. Biology, Epidemiology, Clinical features, Treatment, Prevention and Control.
III. Trypanosomatidae: Trypanosoma cruzi and Chagas disease, Trypanosoma brucei and Sleeping Sickness, Leishmania and leishmaniasis. Plasmodium and malaria. Toxoplasma gondii and toxoplasmosis.
IV. Infections in immunocompetent and immunocompromised hosts.
V. Commensal and pathogenic intestinal protozoan, Giardia duodenalis and Entamoeba histolytica, E. coli and other amoebas. Intestinal protozoa (Cryptosporidium, Cystoisospora, Cyclospora and Microsporidia) and other protozoa with zoonotic potential.
VI. Microscopic observation of protozoa presented in theoretical sessions.
VII. Realization of parasitological immunological and molecular techniques for diagnosis and identification of protozoa.


Programs where the course is taught: