1 De Montfort University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences (UNITED KINGDOM)
2 Universidad de Alcalá, Departamento de Ciencias Biomédicas (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2019 Proceedings
Publication year: 2019
Pages: 9146-9150
ISBN: 978-84-09-08619-1
ISSN: 2340-1079
doi: 10.21125/inted.2019.2272
Conference name: 13th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 11-13 March, 2019
Location: Valencia, Spain
Humans are increasingly being exposed to different and emerging pathogens in urban environments that can represent a public health risk that require immediate attention. Different studies have documented the presence and distribution of intestinal parasites in wild and domestic animal faeces in urban environments that represent a serious threat to human health due to their zoonotic potential.

These “urban” animals can act as reservoirs of different pathogens playing a role in the environmental contamination of the urban environment. The identification of these biological hazards to enable appropriate decontamination or implementation of public health measures to minimise exposure is therefore necessary. To promote environmental monitoring and public health within human health undergraduate students, we have developed a specific activity to monitor Cryptosporidium spp. and Giardia spp. in animal faeces with final year students from three different programmes (BSc Biomedical Science; BMedSci Medical Science and BSc Audiology) at De Montfort University (Leicester, UK). A total of 50 students from these three programmes will travel to New York City (NYC, United States) from the 3rd to 8th January 2019 with three academic staff through the international programme #DMUglobal at De Montfort University (DMU). This trip will present a unique opportunity for DMU health care students to perform a parasitological and public health research study and acquire international competences.

Students will be requested to:
a) determine the presence and distribution of the above protozoan human parasites in animal faecal samples monitored in urban parks and recreational areas in the city centre of NYC;
b) estimate the potential risks for public health;
c) identify potential interventions and decontamination techniques to protect the public.

Students will use immunocards for the specific detection of human-related Cryptosporidium and Giardia in the animal faecal samples monitored. Students will discuss their results and interventions once that they return to DMU, to increase critical analysis and reflection of the environmental monitoring performed and the identification of potential decontamination techniques. This paper will provide an overview of the trip developed and preliminary impressions of these students, which we consider will provide them with work and international competences critical for future health care professionals in a globalised world.
Environmental monitoring, #DMUglobal, internationalisation, health care students.