Molecular parasitology and parasitic diseases

A.Y. 2020/2021
Overall hours
Learning objectives
The objective of the course is to provide students with a basic knowledge of the biology of parasitism and on the pathogenesis of parasitic diseases. This will be achieved by focussing the course on selected examples of parasites and diseases, that will be the models on which a general knowledge of the disease will be built. The selection of the parasite models and diseases will be based on the deepness of the bio-molecular investigations, in order to present information that is relevant to a course in biotechnology.
Expected learning outcomes
The student will be able to describe and interpret the main parasitic relationships and to analyse the biological cycles, the transmission mechanisms and the strategies of coexistence and coevolution of host/parasite.
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Lesson period
First semester
32 hours of lectures in the classroom
16 hours of practice in the laboratory
16 hours of remote practice
Course syllabus
Parasites and their life cycles: an introduction. Basic principles and terms in evolutionary biology and ecology. Parasite biology and molecular biology: model protozoa and helminths. Basic principles and terms in parasitology. The animal phyla: their evolution and body plan. Parasite biology: Cestoda, with emphasis on Taenia spp. and Echinococcus spp. Pathogenesis, virulence and the evolution of host-symbiont interactions. Parasite biology: Nematoda, with emphasis on Trichinella spp, Ascaris spp, trichostrongylidae in ruminants, Strongyloides spp. Parasite biology: ticks and a general introduction to arthropods and arthropod vectors. The immunobiology of parasitic diseases. The global impact and importance of parasitic diseases. Diseases caused by protozoans, with emphasis on neosporosis, toxoplasmosis, leishmaniosis, trypanosomosis, malaria. Diseases caused by Trematoda, with emphasis on schistosomiasis and fascioliasis. Diseases caused by nematodes, with emphasis on toxocariasis, ancylostomiasis, filariasis, anisakidiasis. Tick-borne diseases: Lyme disease; basic information on rickettsiosis, ehrlichiosis.
Prerequisites for admission
There are no preparatory prerequisites, although it is suggested to have a basic understanding of the anatomy of mammals, of the immunology and of the cellular and molecular biology.
Teaching methods
The course is based on frontal lessons supported by projected material. The students are invited to actively participate to the discussion to improve their critical skills, re-elaborating the acquired concepts.
Teaching Resources
- lessons loaded on Ariel platform
- De Carneri. Parassitologia generale e umana. Editors, C. Genchi, E. Pozio. Edition, 13. Publisher, CEA, 2003. ISBN, 8808086755, 9788808086754.
- De Carneri - Parassitologia medica e diagnostica parassitologia. A cura di Olga Brandonisio, Fabrizio Bruschi, Claudio Genchi, Edoardo Pozio. Casa Editrice Ambrosiana. Distribuzione esclusiva Zanichelli 2012
Assessment methods and Criteria
The exam consists of an oral interview. During the exam the student will be able to present a topic of his / her choice within the program. The teacher will interrupt the student's presentation to ask specific questions. Furthermore, the lecturer will ask the student to present further topics.
Practicals: 16 hours
Single bench laboratory practical: 16 hours
Lessons: 32 hours
Professor: Bazzocchi Chiara
Wednesday; 11.00-12.00
DIVET; General Pathology and Parasitology