EEB 3895 Medical Parasitology Fall 2017

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EEB 3895 Medical Parasitology Fall 207

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.

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

Important Documents


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
In-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

Past Exams

Past exams will be posted here

Study Guides

Study guides will be posted here

Lecture Schedule

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

Amoeba.jpg  Hookworm.jpg Tapewormsem.png Flea.jpg Echinoccocus.jpg Nematode.jpg  Mite.jpg Fluke.jpg Trypanosomasem.jpg 
* The course will include a series of 11 in-class Exercises (E1-E11 above). Your grade for class participation will come from your participation in these Exercises; you must participate in at least 10 to receive the full 30 points (i.e., 3 per Exercise). Please note that the dates of these Exercises may deviate somewhat from those indicated in the Syllabus. In addition, you will be eligible to earn up to 10 bonus points by participating in a "Parasites in the News" activity over the course of the semester.
In-class Activity* Class Period Topic
M Aug 28 Introduction; General Concepts of Parasitology
E1 W Aug 30 The human body as a home to parasites; CDC & WHO
M Sept 4 Labor Day (no class)
Protozoan Diseases
W Sep 6 Introduction to zoonotic infections; Giardia: Giardiasis; Naegleria: PAM
M Sep 11 Entamoeba: Amoebiasis; Trichomoniasis
E2 W Sep 13 Trypanosoma: African Trypanosomiasis (Sleeping sickness)
M Sep 18 Trypanosoma: American Trypanosomiasis (Chagas' disease)
E3 W Sep 20 Leishmania: Leishmaniasis
M Sep 25 Plasmodium: Malaria
E4 W Sep 27 Plasmodium: Malaria
M Oct 2 Exam I (Covers material up to end of Sept 27th)
E5 W Oct 4 Toxoplasma: Toxoplasmosis and related diseases
M Oct 9 Cryptosporidium: Cryptosporidiosis and related diseases
Helminth Diseases
E6 W Oct 11 Liver flukes: Fasciolosis; Clonorchiasis
M Oct 16 Lung flukes: Paragonimosis
E7 W Oct 18 Blood flukes: Schistosomiasis
M Oct 23 Blood flukes: Schistosomiasis
W Oct 25 Tapeworms: Cysticercosis; Taeniasis
E8 M Oct 30 Tapeworms: Echinococcosis; Diphyllobothriasis
W Nov 1 Exam II (Covers material from Oct 4th through Oct 30th)
E9 M Nov 6 Nematodes: Ascariasis; Toxocarosis
W Nov 8 Nematodes: pinworms, Hookworm disease
M Nov 13 Nematodes: Filariasis; Dracunculiasis
E10(b) W Nov 15 Nematodes: Trichinosis; Trichuriasis
M Nov 20 Thanksgiving (no class)
W Nov 22 Thanksgiving (no class)
Arthropod Diseases
M Nov 27 Mites, ticks, and tick-borne diseases
E10(e) W Nov 29 Fleas and lice
M Dec 4 Human parasites and climate change
E11 W Dec 6 General considerations
Date & Time TBD Exam III (Covers Nov 6th through Dec 6th) & Final (Comprehensive Essays)