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Course Detail

Standard Academic Year
Course delivery methods
Medicine & dentistry
Medical School (FM)
São Paulo, Pinheiros campus
Course Offering Year
Course Offering Month
January - January
Weekday and Period
Course Number

Malaria and Neglected Tropical Diseases: Advances in Knowledge and Challenges for Control University of Sao Paulo

Course Overview

Despite unprecedented efforts to control malaria, this disease still represents a major public health problem, particularly in Africa. Challenges such as the search for more sensitive point-of-care methods, resistance to antimalarials and to insecticides, strategies to measure transmission, understanding of the immunity and decreases lethality are challenges for the control and elimination. Malaria is the most widespread parasitic disease, putting at risk about 3.3 billion people worldwide, with 198 million cases and 584,000 deaths, especially in children under five years of age and pregnant women. Leishmaniasis and arboviruses such as dengue are among the vector-borne diseases considered neglected by the World Health Organization. Neglected tropical diseases are a group of communicable diseases occrurring in tropical and subtropical conditions in 149 countries and affect more than one billion people, at the cost of billions of dollars each year. They affect mainly populations that live in poverty, in contact with vectors of infectious agents. About 450 million people in sub-Saharan Africa are at risk of contracting tropical diseases. However, according to the WHO, they also affect Latin America, the Middle East and Asia and can emerge in other regions. Leishmaniasis accounts for 1.5 to 2 million new cases per year, with an average lethality of 7%, mainly due to the visceral type. In recent years there has been a resurgence of different arboviruses, among them dengue, chikungunya and Zika virus, whose ability to adapt to different vectors had an impact on the geographical expansion of these diseases. Although most cases present benignly, these arboviruses can occur with severe manifestations. The risk of transmission of these diseases is not limited to populations living in areas at risk, but also to travelers, due to globalization and ease of displacement, thus increasing the concern of worldwide dissemination. The extent of these diseases, coupled with the complex mechanisms of the agent-host-vector relationship in the different phases of the transmission chain, suggests that it is appropriate for academic and public health institutions to devote themselves to the study of the variables involved in their evolution. Thus, the knowledge related to the agents, the hosts, the vectors and the interaction between them, is fundamental to draw efficient strategies of control. In this context, the main challenges are the critical and accurate evaluation of parasitological and molecular diagnostic methods; the immunological mechanisms involved in the etiologic agent-man-vector relationship; the genetic mechanisms of drug resistance; the importance of travel medicine, in order to guide and prevent the risk of infection. It is proposed here a course at a postgraduate level that will provide students with the conditions to develop a critical vision, that arises from the knowledge of challenges, proposals for control and research perspectives in the related field.

Learning Achievement

Training teachers and researchers to develop research on malaria and the main neglected tropical diseases, with an approach in epidemiology and clinical-laboratory diagnosis, encouraging and stimulating the critical thinking related to the knowledge in these diseases.


Course prerequisites

Grading Philosophy

Elaboration of a project as a mechanism of evaluation of the student's perception of the importance of each theme presented. Presentation of seminars with discussion of results of published studies

Course schedule

1. Challenges for malaria control: biological, epidemiological and environmental components; dynamics of transmission in different endemicities; determinants of malaria; characteristics of extra-Amazonian malaria; 2. New perspectives in laboratory diagnosis of malaria: performance of molecular protocols and adequacy of their use in different situations; critical analysis of immunochromatographic assays for the detection of specific antigens and antibodies; 3. Development of immunity in malaria: main mechanisms involved in the cellular and humoral immune response; current state of vaccine development; 4. Immunopathogenic aspects of malaria and correlation with clinical manifestations: characteristics of severe malaria; 5. Chemotherapy; genetics of antimalarial resistance and major molecular markers; 6. Challenges for the control of leishmaniasis: determinants of the disease endemicity, mechanisms related to environmental factors contributing to the spread of the disease; 7. Diversity of Leishmania species occurring in Brazil: geographical location; clinical forms of disease; species and genotypes of Leishmania-related therapeutic response; 8. Innate and adaptive immunity in leishmaniasis: immunopathogenic aspects of the different clinical forms of tegumentary and visceral leishmaniasis; 9. Clinical-laboratory diagnosis of leishmaniasis; clinical aspects in immunocompetent and co-infected patients with HIV; difference in clinical manifestations and therapeutic response; evaluation of laboratory methods currently employed in the diagnosis of visceral and tegumentary leishmaniasis; perspectives of new antigens and different diagnostic platforms; molecular tools used in the species-specific diagnosis of leishmaniasis; 10. Challenges for the control of arboviruses of urban occurrence: biological, epidemiological and environmental components; dynamics of transmission in different scenarios; vectors and host susceptibility; 11. Challenges for serological and molecular diagnosis of arbovirus; 12. Immunopathogenic aspects of arboviruses and correlation with clinical manifestations; 13. Traveler's medicine: critical analysis of prevention measures and chemoprophylaxis

Course type

Online Course Requirement


Marcos Boulos, Jos_ Angelo Lauletta Lindoso, S_lvia Maria F_tima di Santi

Other information

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