|Delivery Type||Delivery length / details|
|Lecture||3 x 1 hour lectures per week (30 hours)|
|Seminars / Tutorials||1 x 1 hour seminar based on compulsory examination question (1 hour) & 3 x 1 hour research seminars by parasitology research focused academics (3 hours) - not timetabled|
|Practical||2 x 4 hour practicals (8 hours)|
|Assessment Type||Assessment length / details||Proportion|
|Semester Assessment||Research note.||20%|
|Semester Assessment||Student centered learning booklet.||20%|
|Semester Exam||3 Hours||60%|
|Supplementary Assessment||Students must take elements of assessment equivalent to those that led to failure of the module.||40%|
|Supplementary Exam||3 Hours Students must take elements of assessment equivalent to those that led to failure of the module.||60%|
On successful completion of this module students should be able to:
1. Compare and contrast the diversity of parasites (as expressed in their structure, physiology, life cycles and development) and their potential to cause disease and economic loss.
2. Critically evaluate the attempts and strategies to control parasites
3. Differentiate the progress of modern molecular biology technologies to increase understanding of the host-parasite relationships, improve parasite diagnosis and support anti-parasite therapy discovery.
The nature of parasitism will be discussed using examples from the major protozoan, helminth and arthropod groups. The course will emphasize the dynamic nature of the relationship between parasites and their hosts and seeks to present an overview of current basic and applied research on the organisms that live in the third great environment - namely the body of another individual.
Parasites show a wide range of biochemical adaptations, many related to the micro-aerobic nature of their environment and the changes that occur during their life cycle. Biochemical differences between parasites and their hosts provide targets for rational chemotherapy, whilst differences between parasites and their free-living relatives can give an insight into the biochemical basis of parasitism. The organization of parasite genomes and some of the unique mechanisms of mRNA editing found in parasites will also be covered.
The discovery, development and mode of action of modern antiparasite drugs will be described, as will the mechanisms responsible for the evolution of drug resistance. The helminth nervous system is structurally simple, but biochemically complex and is an important target for anthelmintics.
The many problems involved in making a realistic assessment of the cost of parasitism or of measuring the impact of parasites on their natural hosts, will be discussed. Frequent attempts have been made to control parasites of humans, domesticated livestock and crops; the outcome of some of these control strategies will be evaluated. A summary of the current ideas on the evolution of parasites, the impact of parasites on the evolution of their hosts and of the concept of host-parasite specificity will be presented and discussed. The structure of parasites will be described in relation to the insight these studies provide into parasite survival both within the host and during the free-living stages. Life cycles, development and modes of transmission will include accounts of the importance of direct transmission, the role of vectors and intermediate hosts, zoonoses and reproductive potential (Ro). Patterns in the distribution of parasites will be described and the mechanisms responsible for generating those patterns evaluated.
The module will include a seminar discussion on a recent research publication that will form the basis of a compulsory question in the written examination. The module concludes with invited research seminars from researchers from the IBERS Parasitology group.
|Skills Type||Skills details|
|Application of Number||Students will have opportunity to collect and interpret data in practical classes with respect to quality and quantity. Feedback on this will be provided with the returned assignment.|
|Communication||Students will develop effective listening skills for the lectures & compulsory seminar and subsequent discussion in practical classes. Students will develop effective written communication skills in practical class write-ups. Feedback on this will be provided with returned assignment.|
|Improving own Learning and Performance||Students ability to devise and monitor time management, learning and performance skills throughout module via attending lectures, seminars, seminar preparation meetings and practical classes. The directed study elements provided in the module will specifically allow students to explore their own learning styles/ preferences, and identify their own needs and barriers to successful learning.|
|Information Technology||Students will develop skills in accessing the web for information sources and using databases to find primary research literature.|
|Personal Development and Career planning|
|Problem solving||Students will develop skills in lectures, seminars and practical classes in differentiating methods for parasite control. Practical classes will allow students to gain experience in designing, executing, interpreting data and writing-up assessed parasitological experiments. Feedback on will be provided with the returned assignment.|
|Research skills||Practical classes will allow the development of key parasitological research skills. Feedback will be provided with returned assignments.|
|Subject Specific Skills||In lectures, seminars and practical classes students will gain skills in determining the biotic and abiotic factors underpinning parasite life-cycles. The module provides skills in designing approaches to diagnose parasite infection and to develop skills in contemporary methods and biological background to discover vaccines and news drugs.|
|Team work||In the practical sessions the students will work in pairs/small groups. Therefore, they will need to discuss their experimental design and work effectively as a small team prior to confirming design with teaching staff. Feedback on this will be given verbally during the practical class.|
This module is at CQFW Level 6