1 De Montfort University, Leicester School of Allied Health Sciences (UNITED KINGDOM)
2 Universidad San Pablo CEU, Facultad de Farmacia (SPAIN)
3 Departamento de Investigación Agroambiental. IMIDRA. (SPAIN)
4 Leicester School of Allied Health Sciences, De Montfort University (UNITED KINGDOM)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2020 Proceedings
Publication year: 2020
Pages: 2908-2912
ISBN: 978-84-09-24232-0
ISSN: 2340-1095
doi: 10.21125/iceri.2020.0666
Conference name: 13th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 9-10 November, 2020
Location: Online Conference
Cultivation of parasites is invaluable for a myriad of reasons including diagnosis and patient care, performing parasitology research, epidemiological studies and for teaching and learning, for example, demonstrating the characteristics of pathogenic parasites to students. In order to comply with public health measures to respond to the on-going COVID-19 pandemic and to support higher education institutions to adapt their education to a new situation in which social distance is of critical importance to minimise infections of SARS-CoV-2, De Montfort University (DMU, UK) and the Spanish Universities of San Pablo CEU (USP-CEU) and Miguel Hernández de Elche, are developing a series of innovative and engaging on-line units for teaching and learning parasite culture using the Virtual Laboratory in DMU e-Parasitology ( To date, the Cell Culture Laboratory at USP-CEU has created an e-learning unit that shows all the practices and procedures of working in a parasite culture unit in conjunction with detailed information and videos of parasitologists working in real conditions with free-living amoebas and Leishmania infantum cultures, which is available here:

This innovative resource is accompanied by a complete virtual laboratory e-learning unit on mammalian cell culture, as cultures of different lines of human and animals cells are used for the cultivation of obligate intracellular parasites, such as Plasmodium spp. or for the growth of some human-related microsporidian species to extract DNA for molecular diagnoses. In order to encourage the development of autonomy, capacity and capability in the student and to use the DMU e-Parasitology package in continuing professional development training on the culture of emerging human parasites, USP-CEU has developed two more highly interactive units about the culture of Balamuthia mandrillaris and Trichomonas vaginalis. These novel resources are provided with short videos (with audio and subtitles) of a skilled parasitologist performing all the steps for the cultivation of these emerging human parasites, including tips and strategies for a successful cultivation of these protozoan parasites. In addition, they are also populated with formative mini-games and activities to provide a holistic learning experience of the culture of these parasites The availability of these two e-learning resources in the global resource DMU e-Parasitology will be invaluable resources to support academics with the teaching of culture of parasites during the COVID-19 pandemic, a key topic in medical parasitology education, which otherwise would be challenging to teach remotely. Academics will also be able to enrich their strategies for teaching and make their sessions more appetising and stimulating. Finally, these web-based resources could help educators in course development and could be used for training purposes by future technicians that will work in a cell or parasite culture laboratory.
DMU e-Parasitology, parasite culture, training, emerging human parasites, blended learning.