Veterinary Parasitology MPhil/MD

Major code: VBMR (MPhil), VBPR (PhD)


Parasitology encompasses the biology, transmission, immunology, epidemiology and control of parasites of veterinary and medical importance. In IGH we study a range of parasitic diseases including zoonoses.

Subject Overview

Veterinary Parasitology research is based predominantly in the new IC2 building on the main city campus, with strong links with collaborators at the Leahurst campus on the Wirral, 20 minutes away.  Parasitic diseases are of major importance to the health and welfare of animals throughout the world. As (relatively) large and sophisticated pathogens, parasites present particularly intriguing and difficult challenges; many are also zoonotic, transmitted between animals and humans, affecting the health of both.  We have a large, well funded research team working on the temperate liver fluke parasite, Fasciola hepatica, the abortifacient protozoan Neospora caninum and the cyathostomins, the most significant group of gastro-intestinal nematodes affecting horses.  Our underlying philosophy is to apply modern genomic, proteomic and modelling techniques to address important problems of practical relevance.  We are particularly interested in anthelmintic resistance, vaccine development and improved control through better management of disease.

Research addressing human parasitic infections takes place at the new IC2 laboratories on the city centre campus. Our aim is to understand the molecular and physiological mechanisms of parasitic infections, as a basis for improving global health through novel disease interventions and therapies. We use the latest functional genomic and proteomic techniques to understand the basic biology of parasites that cause endemic intestinal diseases in humans, such as cryptosporidiosis, giardiasis and amoebiasis, in the U.K. and worldwide. Our research is revealing the genomic basis to complex disease mechanisms like antigenic variation in trypanosomatid parasites, which cause neglected tropical diseases such as human African trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness) and leishmaniaisis. We also study the molecular basis of parasitism in nematode parasites such as Strongyloides and the filarial worms, which cause onchocerciasis and lymphatic filariasis, in an effort to develop protective immunity in onchocerciasis and a new chemotherapeutic strategy for filarial diseases.

Available programmes for parasitology research are:

  • Infection and Global Health (Medical) 
  • Medical Microbiology 
  • Veterinary Parasitology

Why choose Infection and Global Health?

Our postgraduate students have access to unrivalled expertise among Institute staff in a variety of infectious and non-infectious diseases of humans and animals, together with state-of-the-art facilities. The Institute integrates medical and veterinary research to enhance exchange of knowledge and skills, putting us at the forefront of the ‘one health agenda’. We offer an outstanding teaching and learning experience undertaken within a culture of research excellence, which keeps staff at the cutting edge of knowledge and ensures student talent is nurtured and celebrated.