EEB 3895 Medical Parasitology Fall 2016

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EEB 3895 Medical Parasitology Fall 2016

Course description: Parasitic agents of human disease: protozoan, helminth, and arthropod parasites of medical importance and their basic morphology, classification, and life-cycles; diagnosis of infection; current topics in parasitic diseases.

Format : Class periods will include a blend of lectures and group activities.

Prerequisites: Three credits of introductory biology or approval of instructor.

Required text: Foundations of Parasitology 8th (2008; Roberts & Janovy) or 9th (2012; Roberts, Janovy & Nadler) edition; McGraw Hill.

Lecture: Mondays and Wednesdays, 9:05–10:20 am; Where: TLS Rm. 301


Professor: Dr. J.N. Caira
office: TLS 483 (office hours by arrangement)
phone: 486-4060
email: Dr. Janine N. Caira

Important Documents

Pdficon small.gif EEB 3895 Syllabus

Pdficon small.gif Classification Scheme

Course Objectives

The course is focused on the biology of the parasites responsible for human diseases. It is organized by parasite group and aims to provide:
(1) an overview of the major parasite taxa infecting humans globally,
(2) an appreciation of the diversity of life-cycles, portals of entry, sites infected, modes of reproduction these parasites employ, and
(3) a basic understanding of the pathology associated with, and diagnosis of, infection with each major parasite group.

Specific Learning Outcomes

The course will provide a sound parasitological foundation for students who wish to pursue a career in a medical or related academic field.
(1) Know fundamental concepts of parasitology and the technical vocabulary used in the field.
(2) Identify common human parasite taxa based on morphological, biological, clinical, and geographic criteria, and the diseases they cause.
(3) Understand the human body as a home to parasites in terms of portals of entry and exit, and sites occupied by parasites.
(4) Appreciate the complexity of parasite life-cycles and transmission strategies.
(5) Hone critical thinking skills by applying fact-based knowledge of human parasites to scenarios involving infection diagnosis and prevention.


3 Lecture Exams (90 points each) 270 points
Final Comprehensive Essay Exam 100 points
Class Participation (see * below) 30 points

Useful Websites -The American Society of Parasitologists (general parasitology) -The American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (medical parasitology) -Center for Disease Control (CDC) resource for identification of parasitic disease agents (US government infectious diseases surveillance agency; focused on human and zoonotic parasites) -World Health Organization (WHO) Programme on neglected tropical diseases (Note that 11 of the 17 targeted diseases deemed important globally are caused by parasitic organisms!) -WHO Global Malaria Programme focusing on prevention, treatment and control of this protist infection

Lecture Schedule

This schedule is subject to change. Check regularly for updates!

* The course will include a series of in-class activities consisting of 11 Exercises (E1-E11 above) and 8 Skype conversations (S1-S8 above) with relevant parasite experts from around the country. Your grade for class participation will come from your participation in these activities. You must participate in at least 9 in-class Exercises (18 points). You will each also be asked to co-lead the Skype conversation with 1 of the 8 parasitologists (5 points), but will also be expected to be present for at least 7 of these conversations (7 points).
In-class Activity* Class Period Topic
M Aug 29 Introduction; General Concepts of Parasitology
E1 W Aug 31 The human body as a home to parasites; CDC & WHO
M Sep 05 Labor Day (no class)
Protozoan Diseases
W Sep 07 Introduction to zoonotic infections; Giardia: Giardiasis; Naegleria: PAM
M Sep 12 Entamoeba: Amoebiasis; Trichomoniasis
E2 W Sep 14 Trypanosoma: African Trypanosomiasis (Sleeping sickness)
M Sep 19 Trypanosoma: American Trypanosomiasis (Chagas disease)
E3 W Sep 21 Leishmania: Leishmaniasis
(S1) M Sep 26 Plasmodium: Malaria
(S2) W Sep 28 Plasmodium: Malaria
M Oct 3 Exam I (Covers material up to end of Sept 28th)
E4 W Oct 5 Toxoplasma: Toxoplasmosis and related diseases
(S3) M Oct 10 Cryptosporidium: Cryptosporidiosis and related diseases
Helminth Diseases
E5 W Oct 12 Liver flukes: Fascioliasis; Clonorchiasis
M Oct 17 Lung flukes: Paragonomimiasis
E6 W Oct 19 Blood flukes: Schistosomiasis
(S4) M Oct 24 Blood flukes: Schistosomiasis
E7 W Oct 26 Tapeworms: Cysticercosis; Taeniasis
M Oct 31 Tapeworms: Echinococcosis; Diphyllobothriasis
W Nov 2 Exam II (Covers material from Oct 5th through Oct 31st)'
(S5) M Nov 7 Nematodes: Ascariasis; Toxocarosis
E8 W Nov 9 Nematodes: Hookworm disease
(S6) M Nov 14 Nematodes: Filariasis; Dracunculiasis
E9 W Nov 16 Nematodes: Trichinosis; Trichuriasis
M Nov 21 Thanksgiving (no class)
W Nov 23 Thanksgiving (no class)
Arthropod Diseases
(S7) M Nov 28 Mites, ticks, and tick-borne diseases
E10 W Nov 30 Fleas and lice
(S8) M Dec 5 Human parasites and climate change
E11 W Dec 7 General considerations
Tentative date M Dec 12
Exam III (Covers Nov 7th through Dec 7th) & Final (Comprehensive Essays)'