Parasitology – 3100:454

parasitIn this course, there are two major emphases. First, many students need this course to fulfill a requirement for a medically-oriented degree. For these students, the course concentrates on human parasites, or parasites of domestic animals. Only eukaryotic parasites are covered; bacteria and viruses are covered in other courses. We discuss important pathological effects of the human parasites so that one is exposed to diagnostic criteria used to detect these important diseases. Epidemiological factors of several of the important parasites are also covered. Understanding of the life cycles of these parasites is also emphasized.

The other group of students taking this course are organismally-oriented individuals. For these students, we discuss important evolutionary and ecological aspects of parasite/host relationships. Coevolution of the host and the parasite is discussed. The “coevolutionary arms race” between the host’s immune system and the parasite’s mechanisms to avoid the immune system are also emphasized in this course. We discuss some of the more interesting evolutionary developments of the non-human parasites to “round out” the study of parasitism and to note the interesting evolutionary developments in organisms that have specialized on a parasitic lifestyle.

Introductory Lecture

Sample of first lecture, which outlines subject matter covered in this course


Syllabus Spring, 2005

Course Description

We will cover the basic biology, pathology, and epidemiology of important human parasites. The course is divided into two parts: protozoan and worm parasites. In both sections we will discuss the basics of host/parasite interactions, as well as the medical affects of parasitism on humans. The laboratory section will allow hands-on access to parasitic specimens, and will familiarize the students in the methodology of diagnosing parasitic infections.

Course Objectives

  1. Understanding the basic principles of parasitism
  2. Understanding the evolution of the parasitic lifestyle
  3. Documenting the pathological effects of parasitism
  4. Diagnosing parasitic infections

Grading of the course will be as follows: laboratory = 400 pts., midterm = 250 pts., and final = 350 pts. (1000 pts. total). The final is cumulative and is scheduled for Wed May 8th at 2:00-3:55pm. The lecture exams will include questions on general aspects of parasitology, life cycles, pathology, vectors and symptomology. The lab practicals will emphasize identification of parasites studied in the lab. Graduate students are also required to write a short paper on some aspect of parasitology, to be decided in consultation with the instructor.

Policy on Academic Dishonesty

Diana Hacker writes, “To borrow another writer’s language or ideas without proper acknowledgment is a form of dishonesty known as plagiarism” (1997. A Pocket Style Manual, 2nd Edition.  Bedford Books, Boston, p. 91).  The University of Akron regards plagiarism as a grave academic offense, and it will not be tolerated.  You will be guilty of committing plagiarism if you use, without proper acknowledgment, paragraphs, single sentences, clauses, or ideas of others, regardless of the source (scientific publications, books, pamphlets, newspapers or newsletters, commercial “term paper” services, electronic media [such as information on the Internet, CD-ROM’s, commercial or non-commercial floppy disks, etc.], papers previous students have submitted for this or other courses, and the like).  If you have any questions about what constitutes plagiarism, be sure to inquire before submitting your papers!

If you are found to have committed plagiarism or are caught cheating on any graded portion of this class, you will be reprimanded to the full extent outlined in the student handbook.  This includes one of the following actions: reduction of course grade, disciplinary probation, suspension, or outright dismissal from the University.

 Students whose names do not appear on the university’s official class list by Feb. 5, 1999 will not be permitted to participate (attend class, take exams, or receive credit).

Instructor: Dr. Steve Weeks, Assistant Professor. Office hrs: Tues. 10:00 – 11:00 and Thurs. 11:00 – 12:00 in Auburn Rm. 581. If you cannot make either of the above times, you may be able to schedule an alternate time by appointment. Phone: 972-7156.

Teaching Assistant: Scott Boettger; Office hrs: T/Th. 11:00am – 12:00pm (or by appt.) in Auburn Rm. 275c

Other useful Parasitology texts are as follows:

General texts

  • Cheng, T. C. General Parasitology
  • Marquard and Demaree. Parasitology
  • Noble and Noble. Parasitology.

Clinically-oriented texts

  • Brooks, T. J. Essentials of Medical Parasitology
  • Brown, H. W. and Belding. Basic Clinical Parasitology
  • Belding. Textbook of Clinical Parasitology
  • Faust, Russel and Jung. Clinical Parasitology

Veterinary texts

  • Georgi. Parasitology for Veterinarians
  • Soulsby, E. J. L. Helminths, Arthropods, and Protozoa of Domesticated Animals