Course Objective

This course aims to provide students with a wide knowledge and
understanding of medical parasitology. The course focuses on:
• Parasites and their virulence;
• Transmission;
• The role of parasites and host(s) on the outcome of disease;
• Immunological aspects;
• (Laboratory) diagnosis of parasites;
• Epidemiology, treatment, prevention and control of parasitological

Course Content

This course will focus on Medical Parasitology.
The lectures will provide an overview of parasites that are of medical
importance, focussing on:
parasite life cycles; interactions between parasites and their host(s)
(e.g. invasion, survival, immune modulation and underlying molecular
mechanisms); diagnosis (development and application); hygiene
hypothesis; epidemiology; treatment; prevention (including vaccines);
control and elimination.
The lectures will be interactive and should therefore be prepared by
reading the corresponding literature.
Your input in the lectures will be of utmost importance. Some lectures
will be given by guest speakers to provide you with a broad overview of
what is happening in this field.

Specific teaching goals:
After this course you will have learned the principles of medical
parasitology and will be able to:
• Apply these principles to different parasite groups;
• Describe parasite life cycles using correct terminology;
• Identify the role of the host and parasite (virulence factors) on the
outcome of an infection and disease;
• Describe the underlying molecular mechanisms involved in parasite
• Describe different diagnostic techniques and their respective
advantages and disadvantages;
• Describe and discuss the principles for treatment, prevention, control
or eradication programmes for parasite infections of medical importance;
• Analyse, discuss and present literature in the parasitology research
• Make suggestions for future parasitological research

Teaching Methods

This course will include interactive guest lectures covering all aspects
medical parasitology. This will be followed by discussion groups and
in-class assignments, in which you will be expected to
demonstrate an in-depth understanding of the course content and
literature. You will also have the opportunity to identify several
parasites in a practical session.
In the final two weeks you will (within a group) present a grant
application on a parasite of choice during an elevator pitch and prepare
actively participate in a debate on a selected parasitological topic.
All workgroup-sessions are compulsory.
An written examination will take place after week 5.

Lectures: 31 hours
Workgroups: 20 hours
Practical parasite identification: 4 hours

Method of Assessment

You will pass the course if you have attended all compulsory sessions,
if all assignments are sufficient and the exam is above 5,5 (so not

Entry Requirements

Solid knowledge on basic cell biology, basic immunology and the basics
of infectious diseases is compulsory before the start of the course.


On Canvas

Target Audience

Obligatory course within the MSc Infectious disease specialisation
Health Sciences; Optional course within the MSc programmes of Biomedical

Additional Information

Several guest lecturers will be invited to teach on Medical

General Information

Course Code AM_470052
Credits 6 EC
Period P2
Course Level 400
Language of Tuition English
Faculty Faculty of Science
Course Coordinator G.S.A. Smit
Examiner G.S.A. Smit
Teaching Staff dr. M.R. van Dijk
dr. M. Campos Ponce
G.S.A. Smit

Practical Information

You need to register for this course yourself

Last-minute registration is available for this course.

Teaching Methods Study Group*, Lecture, Practical

*You cannot select a group yourself for this teaching method, you will be placed in a group.

Target audiences

This course is also available as: