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Studies & Degrees in Parasitology

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Parasitology is the study of parasites, which are disease causing organisms that live on other organisms. Parasites like bacteria and viruses cause various illnesses in humans, animals, as well as plants. All countries in the world spend huge amounts of money, manpower and efforts to control diseases and epidemics caused by parasites- such as malaria, AIDS, and the more recent- bird flu. It is owing to the dedicated efforts of Parasitologists that diseases like small pox and tuberculoses are now under control.
Students enrolled at Parasitology courses would get the scientific qualifications to study and research on such illnesses and contribute in discovering new ways to curb them. Students would study different types of parasites and the diseases associated with them through subjects such as:
  • Parasite Systematics: This subject focuses on the various parasite groups and their systematic labeling
  • Parasitic Zoonoses: This subject deals with the various human and animal diseases that are caused by parasites
  • Parasitological Methods: This subject teaches students the different methods to limit parasites and fight diseases
Students would be expected to specialize within a specific branch of Parasitology through elective courses. These branches include study of tropical parasites, food parasites, agricultural parasites or those that affect the livestock. The courses include class room study and discussions along with project and lab work.
Courses to Study Parasitology
The study of Parasitology is usually offered as Masters Degree courses in various universities around the world. However, where a student chooses to study would affect the diseases and parasites that are prominent in that part of the globe.  Admission into a Master’s degree in Parasitology would require the applicant to hold a Bachelor’s degree in a Biological discipline. The applicants would also need to meet any specific requirements, such as an admission test or research proposal, that the particular university may have.
Students who undertake a study in Parasitology would be equipped to work as a part of a research team with some independence. They will also be trained in identifying key questions, planning experiments, acquiring new techniques and interpreting results.
Career Opportunities
Parasitologists have various career options available to them owing to the massive effects of parasites on the world every day. Parasitologists are hired as researchers by various government and private agencies that study diseases and develop cures. Depending on the area of specialization, Parasitologists are engaged in varied studies and focus areas. For instance, a Veterinary Parasitologist would be engaged in the treatment and control of diseases affecting domestic animals. Medical Parasitologists can participate in various significant researches about the parasites causing human diseases. Latest developments have given a huge boost to job opportunities for immune-parasitologists, who create vaccines against parasites. Humans, as well as, animals are benefited by such vaccines. A career in the field of Parasitology enables the aspirant to contribute to the betterment of all living beings