Novel resources for learning the identification of human-related parasites.
Microscopic detection of human-related parasites in a range of clinical samples remains the cornerstone of parasitological diagnosis despite recent advances in technology and molecular sciences. However, the use of the light microscope for diagnostic purposes requires comprehensive training, skills and parasitology knowledge that it is difficult to appropriately provide to future health professionals due to different challenges including shortages of health science academics, resources, time and specimens for delivering appropriate training. An international teaching innovation team from different European universities, led by De Montfort University (UK), is building a novel resource for learning and teaching parasitology, which is equipped with a Virtual Laboratory and Microscope. In the Virtual Laboratory (http://parasitology.dmu.ac.uk/learn/laboratory.htm), we are building a complete subsection with a series of engaging units for learning different parasitological staining/fresh preparations techniques for detecting common and rare (emerging and re-emerging) human parasites from several taxa: protozoa (mostly cysts, oocysts) and helminths (eggs and organs for parasitological differentiation such as scolex or proglottids for Taenia spp.) and fungi (spores), which will be publicly available in 2019. Examples of staining techniques included are Kinyoun and Trichrome (normal and modified) stain and fresh preparations for investigating eggs as well as more recent techniques such as immunofluorescence. The Virtual Laboratory will also provide resources to undertake appropriate sample (faeces, blood, urine) collection, management and preparation for parasitological diagnosis and the use of different microscopes including the light microscope for parasite analysis. These units will be equipped with short videos of academics and technicians performing the different techniques, which will include audio and subtitles in English, and will be supported by photos, artworks, designs and self-assessment mini-quizzes and exercises, to provide students with the most practical experience possible. Finally, a complete library of digitised clinical slides of different specimens and parasites is provided here: http://parasitology.dmu.ac.uk/learn/microscope.htm. Each virtual slide is provided with the functionality of a microscope, so the user will be able to zoom in and out and explore all of the clinical sample to learn the morphological characteristics of cysts, oocysts, eggs and spores for parasitological diagnosis. When relevant, a variety of virtual slides for the different species for the same parasite will be provided to enhance the identification of parasites to species level in conjunction with a short description and tips for easy identification. The resources that are being created will cover the theoretical foundation and current scientific information so they will be suitable for undergraduate/postgraduate students as well as for more professional training. This paper will present a complete overview of these novel resources that are aimed to help train future professionals in parasitic disease diagnosis with microscopic identification of parasites; these web-based resources could help to overcome current limitations that are eroding the teaching status of parasitology. Finally, different strategies will be presented to facilitate the introduction and use of this novel resource in any human health programme.
The file attached to this record is the author's final peer reviewed version. The Publisher's final version can be found by following the DOI link.
Citation : Peña-Fernández, A., Lobo-Bedmar, M.C., Acosta, L., Izquierdo, F. (2018) Novel resources for learning the identification of human-related parasites. ICERI2018 Proceedings, pp.5212-5217.
ISBN : 9788409059485
Research Group : Infectious Disease Research Group
Research Institute : Leicester Institute for Pharmaceutical Innovation - From Molecules to Practice (LIPI)
Peer Reviewed : Yes