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Title: Molecular Medical Parasitology (Course Language: Portuguese)
Keywords: Vectors
Tropical medicine
Country: Portugal
Institution: Portugal - Instituto de Higiene e Medicina Tropical , Universidade Nova de Lisboa
Course coordinator: Henrique Silveira
Date start: 2023-03-30
Date end: 2023-05-04
About duration and dates: 7 days course: + 1 day assessment: March 30, 31, April 13, 14, 20, 21, 27, from 1:30 to 8:00 PM. May 4, assessment.
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 (if any tropEd candidate is not a Portuguese-speaking native, the course will be taught in English)
ECTS credit points: 6 ECTS credits
SIT: 168 SIT
- Face-to-face hours: 52 (of which, 24 h laboratorial practicals + 6,5 h assessment)
- Self-study hours: 116
Language: Portuguese
By the end of this course students should be able to:
• Evaluate the significance of molecular biology for the study of parasites of medical importance, their vectors and its applications;
• Distinguish and relate the molecular mechanisms associated with the life cycle of various parasites of medical importance;
• Identify, differentiate and assess potential application of molecular tools applied to diagnosis, epidemiology, taxonomy, vaccines, drug resistance and transmission control;
• Explain diversity in the context of epidemiology, evolution and population genetics;
• Plan, perform practical laboratory techniques and evaluate results;
• Appraise critically, communicate and discuss material published in the medical field of molecular parasitology (seminars and tutorials).
Assessment Procedures:
The final assessment of the student has two components, with no minimum grade:
1- Written reports of practicals (4 in total) (3-5 pages each, containing: Introduction, materials and methods, results, discussion, and conclusions). It represents 50% of the final grade. Written reports are assessed by the practicals coordinator. Feedback on the report can be requested by the student and discussed during tutorials.

2- Seminars, in which the ability to relate bibliography with gained knowledge, critical judgement, synthesis, and communication will be assessed. It represents 50% of final grade, based on the following weighting:
a)10% presentation;
b) 10% performance in the discussion of their own presentation;
c) 10% participation in the discussion of other students presentation;
[a), b) and c) are calculated as the average of grades given by each lecturer attending the seminar];
d) 10% graded by the tutors assisting on the preparation of the seminar (pre-seminar grading); and,
e)10% graded by peers (fellow students) attending the seminar.

Students who do not obtain a final minimum average grade of 10 (in the Portuguese scale, 0-20), take a final exam that will cover the intire subject (theoretical and practicals).

Course participants are expected to attend at least two thirds of classes (lectures, and practicals). Otherwise, they will be dismissed, without refund.
- Introduction to molecular parasitology. Life cycle and molecules
- 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 to access Plasmodium resistance to anti-malarials, 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 (16%), group work and tutorials (8%), seminars (3%) and self-study (64%). Group work comprises discussion of articles and seminar preparation.
- Students should be proficient (writing, listening, reading and speaking) in English or Portuguese.
- 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.
- No particular laboratorial experience is needed.
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:
Since last re-accreditation (2018) there were no tropEd students enrolled.

The course is offered every year to IHMT students and is anonymously evaluated by all students. Overall evaluations have been always above 4 (in 6 point-scale).
Lessons learned:
In the previous cycle of re-accreditation, feedback from tropEd students have been used to adjust weights associated to the different components of assessment.
tropEd accreditation:
Accredited in February 2013. Re-accredited in March 2018 and February 2023. This accreditation is valid until February 2028.
Remarks: The teacher coordinator advises the students to come a day or two before the start date.
Email Address:
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: 2023-02-22 09:50:15 (W3C-DTF)

Fifteen years of the tropEd Masters in International Health programme: what has it delivered? Results of an alumni survey of masters students in international health

L. Gerstel1, P. A. C. Zwanikken1, A. Hoffman2, C. Diederichs3, M. Borchert3 and B. Peterhans2

1 Royal Tropical Institute, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
2 Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, University of Basel, Basel, Switzerland
3 Institute of Tropical Medicine and International Health, Charite – Universit€atsmedizin Berlin, Berlin, Germany