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Diagnostic parasitology

The major cause of morbidity and mortality in the developing countries of the tropics is the high prevalence of infectious diseases. Besides the plethora of microbes causing gastrointestinal and respiratory infections, there are major diseases of parasitic origin, caused by pathogenic protozoa and helminths: they are the focus of this learning software.

The field of diagnostics has made enormous progress in the last two decades, primarily as a result of advances in genomics, proteomics and biotechnology. Recombinant DNA and hybridoma technologies as well as peptide chemistry allow the production of highly specific reagents for the diagnosis of infectious diseases. The polymerase chain reaction (PCR) with its fantastic power of amplifying very small amounts of specific DNA boosts sensitivity to previously unimaginable levels.