Title: Molecular Medical Parasitology
Keywords: vectors
Tropical medicine
Research (in general)
Laboratory science (incl.. quality assurance)
Country: Portugal
Institution: Protugal - Instituto de Higiene e Medicina Tropical , Universidade Nova de Lisboa
Course coordinator: Henrique Silveira
Date start: 2018-04-19
Date end: 2018-05-24
About duration and dates: 5 weeks, Thursdays and Fridays from 13:00 to 20:00
Classification: advanced optional
Mode of delivery: Face to face
Course location:
Instituto de Higiene e Medicina Tropical
Rua da Junqueira Nº 100
1349-008 Lisboa,
Course language is English or Portuguese (according to the number and candidates)
ECTS credit points: 6 ECTS credits
SIT: 176 SIT

- Face-to-face hours: 51
- Self-study hours: 122
- Assessement: 3
Language: English
By the end of this course students should be able to:
• Recognise the importance of molecular biology for the study of parasites of medical importance, their vectors and its applications;
• Recognise and explain the molecular mechanisms associated with the life cycle of various parasites of medical importance;
• Identify, differentiate and access potential application of molecular tools applied to the diagnosis, epidemiology, taxonomy, vaccines, drug resistance and transmission blocking;
• Explain diversity in the context of epidemiology, evolution and population genetics;
• Plan and perform practical laboratory techniques;
• Revise critically, communicate and discuss material published in the medical field of molecular parasitology (seminars and tutorials).
Assessment Procedures:
Course participants are expected to attend at least two thirds of classes (lectures, practicals and tutorials) in discussions and group work. Otherwise they will be automatically dismissed, without refund.

The final assessment of the student has two components:
1- Written reports of practical’s (4 in total) (3-5 pages each, containing: Introduction, materials and methods, results and discussion). It represents 50% of final grade. Written reports are assessed by the practical coordinator.

2- Seminars where the ability to understand, bibliography search, critical judgment, synthesis, and communication will be evaluated. It represents 50% of final grade, based on the following weighting: 20% presentation, 10% performance in the discussion, 10% - colleague’s evaluation and 10% participation in the discussion of papers presented by colleagues. Seminars are evaluated by the lectures of the course that attend presentations. Only 10% is accessed by peers (fellow students)

If students do not reach 10 out of 20 as the final mark on both components, a written exam, on both components, will be performed 1-2 weeks after the end of the module.
• Introduction to molecular parasitology. Life cycle and molecules
• Molecular taxonomy and evolution
• Applications and methods used for transfection of animal cells and bacteria
• Phylogeny, population biology and vector control
• Molecular methods applied to the study of intestinal parasites
• Molecular mechanisms of cell invasion and mobility – Apicomplexa
• Molecular mechanisms of cell invasion and mobility – Trypanosomatids
• Molecular basis of insecticide resistance
• Biochemical assays of enzymatic activity applied to insecticide resistance (PRACTICAL)
Assay of enzyme activity of non-specific esterases in mosquito vectors of malaria using microplate assays
• Resistance to antimalarials
• Gene Expression. (PRACTICAL)
qRT-PCR will be used (including wet lab and analysis)
• Binomial relationship Schistosoma-snail: resistance or susceptibility?
• Detection of Schistosoma mansoni in Biomphalaria glabrata. (PRACTICAL)
Nested-PCR will be used for the detection of Schistosoma
• Mechanisms of drug resistance in Leishmania
• Leishmania molecular typing. (PRACTICAL)
Molecular typing of Leishmania will be performed by PCR-RFLP
• Antigenic variation in Plasmodium
• Antigenic variation in Trypanosoma
• Functional genomics: microarrays, NGS and gene silencing in parasitology. (SEMINARS)
This course combines lectures (9%), practical laboratory classes (12%), seminars, group work and tutorials (7%) seminars (3%) and self-study (69%). Group work comprises discussion of articles
• Students should be proficient (Write, listen, read and speak) in English or Portuguese.
• No particular Lab experience is needed
• Level of English proficiency expected: TOEFL test score 213 computer-based or 550 paper-based or 79-80 internet-based or IELTS band 6.0.
max. number of students: 20;
max. number of tropEd students: 5
First come, first served
Participants enrolled in the TropEd program should pay € 900.
Scholarships: None available
Major changes since initial accreditation:
Besides adjustments to the programme no major changes were made.
Student evaluation:
The course is jointly anonymously evaluated by all students (TropEd and IHMT); overall evaluation are above 4 (in 6 point-scale).

Personnel feedback has been normally good. From all TropEd students enrolled in the course, only one dropout due to personal reasons. Despite some language barriers Integration with IHMT students was always very good.

Some students have also used the time spent at IHMT to enroll on voluntary laboratory internships.
Lessons learned:
Feedback from students have been used to adjust weights associated to the different components of evaluation.
tropEd accreditation:
Accredited in February 2013. Re-accredited in March 2018. This accreditation is valid until March 2023.
Email Address: mrfom@ihmt.unl.pt
Date Of Record Creation: 2013-02-25 03:55:02 (W3C-DTF)
Date Of Record Release: 2017-10-02 10:55:19 (W3C-DTF)
Date Record Checked: 2018-03-24 (W3C-DTF)
Date Last Modified: 2018-03-24 06:42:24 (W3C-DTF)

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