Welcome and Course Overview
Welcome to Tropical Parasitology: Protozoans, Worms, Vectors, and Human Diseases! In this course, students will develop an understanding of important human parasitic diseases, including their life cycles, vectors of transmission, distribution and epidemiology, pathophysiology and clinical manifestations, treatment, and prevention and control. Tropical Parasitology is taught by Kilimanjaro Christian Medical University College faculty -- Drs. Frank Mosha and Mramba Nyindo (and two lecturers, Drs. Johnson Matowo and Jovin Kitau). They are joined by Dr. John Bartlett, Professor of Medicine, Global Health and Nursing at Duke University. To get started, view the video "Welcome to Tropical Parasitology," read the Course Overview, read about how the course is structured in Course Clusters, and review the Course Resources. Then move on to study the first cluster, Protozoans. Please note that the Protozoans cluster constitutes the largest content cluster in the course, and we have allocated 3 weeks to complete the work for this cluster. The other course clusters will take one week (each) to complete. We hope you enjoy the course, and we look forward to your contributions to our learning community.
We are excited to begin our Protozoa cluster, focusing on malaria, trypanosomiasis, toxoplasmosis, and leishmaniasis. Despite advances in prevention and treatment, protozoal diseases contribute substantially to the global burden of morbidity and mortality. This cluster has a total of 153 minutes of video and 85 pages of reading spread out over the four lessons. Each lesson has all of the readings, lectures, and additional materials to help you understand the topic. You will have unlimited opportunities to take an untimed quiz after you’ve mastered the material in each lesson, and you have four quizzes to complete in this cluster. (Note: this cluster includes a case study practice quiz, ungraded, which is optional). This cluster kicks off with a close look at malaria vectors and the fascinating research being done on diagnosing, treating, and vaccinating against malaria. This is by far the largest cluster in the course, so you have up to 3 weeks to complete this cluster.
The Cestodes cluster focuses on taeniasis and echinococcosis. One example of their impact is neurocysticercosis, which is estimated as the leading cause of epilepsy in low- and middle-income countries. This cluster has a total of 41 minutes of video and 31 pages of reading spread out over two lessons. You will have unlimited opportunities to take an untimed quiz after you’ve mastered the material, and you have two quizzes to complete for this cluster. This cluster begins by looking at the acquisition, manifestation, diagnosis, and treatment of neurocysticercosis, a helminthic infection of the nervous system caused by Taenia solium.
The Trematodes cluster focuses on schistosomiasis and fascioliasis. It is estimated that almost 60 million people are infested with trematodes globally. This cluster has a total of 79 minutes of video and 31 pages of reading spread out over the two lessons. You will have unlimited opportunities to take an untimed quiz after you’ve mastered the material in each lesson, and you have two quizzes to complete for this cluster. This cluster begins by looking at schistosomiasis, a common intravascular infection caused by parasitic trematode worms in contaminated water.
The Nematodes cluster focuses on filariasis, ascariasis, hookworm, and strongyloidiasis. Nematode infestations may impact up to 185 million people in recent estimates of the global burden of disease. This cluster has a total of 90 minutes of video and 8 pages of reading spread out over four lessons. You will have unlimited opportunities to take an untimed quiz after you’ve mastered the material in each lesson, and you have four quizzes to complete for this cluster. This cluster kicks off by examining lymphatic filariasis and the fundamental need for compassion as a core value in global health practice.
We are now into our final cluster, Ectoparasites, focusing on fleas, ticks and mites, lice, and pathophysiology of infestation with ectoparasites. In addition to causing annoying symptoms on their own, ectoparasites may be important vectors of human disease. This cluster only contains one lesson (Ectoparasites) and has 30 minutes of video and 33 pages of reading. You will have unlimited opportunities to take an untimed quiz after you’ve mastered the material, and you have one quiz to complete for this cluster We begin by looking at how to prevent Lyme disease through protective measures, tick reduction, and various vaccines for humans, ticks, and even reservoirs.
The final exam is a graded 3-part exam, and each part includes information from all of the disease clusters covered throughout the course. The final exam consists of 45 questions, in total. You will have unlimited attempts for each part of the final exam, with the highest scoring attempt counting toward the course grade. The final exam will contribute 60% to your total course grade (with each part of the exam having a weight of 20%).