Animal Parasitology

Course content

Parasite infections negatively impact welfare, performance and productivity of domestic animals, including livestock (cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, horses), companion animals (dogs, cats and others) and fish. Animal Parasitology focus on how to identify and manage parasites in our domestic animals by understanding the complexity of their lifecycles and biology, and how parasites are regulated and diagnosed.

The course studies the distribution, numbers and dynamics of parasites inside and outside the hosts, and the key factors regulating the parasite numbers. The goal is to obtain an overall comprehension of the main biotic and a-biotic factors, which influence parasite populations and thereby can be used in the management of parasites.

The students are introduced to different parasitological methods (hands on) used to identify and quantify parasites in the host and the environment.

During a 2-3 week project the students will work in groups in the laboratory to learn how to address a specific research question within animal parasitology. The students design and conduct their own project, analyse the data and write a report based on their results.

Education

MSc in Animal Science - restricted elective
 

Learning outcome

The aim of the course is to give students a theoretical and practical insight into the fundamentals of animal parasitology in relation to mainly livestock and companion animals.

Knowledge: 

  • Describe the major parasite groups of domestic animals with emphasis on endoparasites and their biology.
  • Describe how parasites are transmitted in a complex ecosystem, and how parasite populations are regulated. 
  • Describe how biotic and a-biotic factors affect the lifecycle of the parasites and how this can be utilised in parasite management.  
  • Explain how different parasitological methods are used to identify and quantify parasites in the host and the environment. 
  • Explain how experimental animal models can be used to study parasites and their interaction with the host.
  • Describe basic pathogenic mechanisms and principles of anti-parasitic drug resistance and how to measure it. 

 

Skills: 

  • Is aware of how different practices in livestock or companion animals influence transmission of parasites. 
  • Can use biotic and a-biotic factors to manage parasite infections in animals.
  • Can use different parasitological methods to identify and quantify parasites in the host and the environment. 
  • Can design experimental studies in order to measure parasite dynamics and transmission. 
  • Can assess anthelmintic resistance in gastro-intestinal nematodes.

 

Competences:

  • How to identify (diagnose) and quantify parasites.
  • How to manage parasite infections in domestic animals by utilizing the main factors that regulate and influence parasite transmission.
  • How to design and perform experiments with parasites of animals. 
  • Present and discuss the main results of a project in relation to available scientific literature.

The teaching method is lectures, seminars and laboratory exercises. The seminars will focus on key scientific articles, which are relevant for the theme of the lectures. The last part of the course is group work (3-4 students) and each group prepares a report of maximum 12 pages based on a practical project.

Will mainly be based on handouts including articles

Suggested reading include parts of: 
Bush,A.O., Fernández, J.C., Esch, G.W., Seed, J.C.: Parasitism – the diversity and ecology of animal parasites. Cambridge University Press, 2001

Grønvold, J, Meyling, N.V., Skov, J., Al-Sabi, M.N.: Ecology of Parasites – selected case stories. 2007

ECTS
15 ECTS
Type of assessment
Written assignment
Oral examination, 30 min
The examination, which takes 30 minutes, comprises an oral presentation/discussion of a written report (group work) and questions within the curriculum.
Weight: Report and associated presentation/discussion 60 % and question within the curriculum 40 %. Based on these combined elements the student will get a single individual score.
Aid
Without aids
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship
Internal censorship. More than one examiner.
Criteria for exam assessment

To achive the maximum grade of 12, the student shall be abel to:

Knowledge: 

  • Describe the major parasite groups of domestic animals with emphasis on endoparasites and their biology.
  • Describe how parasites are transmitted in a complex ecosystem, and how parasite populations are regulated. 
  • Describe how biotic and a-biotic factors affect the lifecycle of the parasites and how this can be utilised in parasite management.  
  • Explain how different parasitological methods are used to identify and quantify parasites in the host and the environment. 
  • Explain how experimental animal models can be used to study parasites and their interaction with the host.
  • Describe basic pathogenic mechanisms and principles of anti-parasitic drug resistance and how to measure it. 

 

Skills: 

  • Is aware of how different practices in livestock or companion animals influence transmission of parasites. 
  • Can use biotic and a-biotic factors to manage parasite infections in animals.
  • Can use different parasitological methods to identify and quantify parasites in the host and the environment. 
  • Can design experimental studies in order to measure parasite dynamics and transmission. 
  • Can assess anthelmintic resistance in gastro-intestinal nematodes.

 

Competences:

  • How to identify (diagnose) and quantify parasites.
  • How to manage parasite infections in domestic animals by utilizing the main factors that regulate and influence parasite transmission.
  • How to design and perform experiments with parasites of animals. 
  • Present and discuss the main results of a project in relation to available scientific literature.
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Lectures
  • 34
  • Colloquia
  • 19
  • Practical exercises
  • 53
  • Project work
  • 110
  • Preparation
  • 150
  • Exam Preparation
  • 44
  • Exam
  • 2
  • English
  • 412