Tropical Parasitology

: 2022  |  Volume : 12  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 1--2

From microbes to molecules

Subhash Chandra Parija 
 Vice-Chancellor, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth (A Deemed to be University), Puducherry, India

Correspondence Address:
Subhash Chandra Parija
Vice-Chancellor, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth (A Deemed to be University), Puducherry

How to cite this article:
Parija SC. From microbes to molecules.Trop Parasitol 2022;12:1-2

How to cite this URL:
Parija SC. From microbes to molecules. Trop Parasitol [serial online] 2022 [cited 2022 Nov 28 ];12:1-2
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Full Text

Greetings from the desk of the Editor.

The laboratory diagnosis of infectious diseases is rapidly changing from that of organisms to molecules. The advent of affordable technology and short turnaround time have become attractive alternatives for clinical laboratories to shift from traditional modes of diagnosis to molecular biology methods based on DNA, RNA, or protein analysis. Needless to say that these methods are now widely used in virology and bacteriology, but have found limited application in mycology and parasitology. In the field of parasitology, reliable systems now exist for certain protozoan parasites such as Plasmodium spp., Toxoplasma gondii, and Entamoeba spp., where the detection of nucleic acid in the patient's sample gives highly accurate results in a short time and has been shown to be superior to traditional microscopy or immunological assays. On the other hand, the diagnosis of helminthic infections still poses a formidable challenge, particularly for those helminths which are infrequently encountered and rare pathogens. Even for the common worms such as Taenia spp., or various hookworms, species differentiation is often incomplete without detailed analysis of the parasite morphology, which is time-consuming and laborious. This expertise is often lacking in a clinical parasitologist (who, often, is a microbiologist) and it is in this area that huge gaps exist in the way to molecular diagnosis of species differentiation and identification. Paradoxically, worm infestations are more common in the resource-poor countries of the world where expensive diagnostic methods are beyond the reach of public-funded laboratories and institutions. This calls for extensive genome sequencing of common and uncommon helminths and protozoan parasites and establishment of a global centralized data bank, the resources of which can be utilized by researchers and establishments from economically weak countries at a nominal cost. The public–private funding by participating countries can go a long way in improved diagnosis of parasitic infections in geographical regions where it is most needed.

The current issue of Tropical Parasitology contains mostly original articles and a few dispatches and letters to the editor. The presidential oration article gives us an overview of a very important and of topical interest concerning the impact of climatic changes affecting parasitic infections.[1] Two of the original articles, one from India and another from Egypt, deal with the molecular characterization of Giardia intestinalis.[2],[3] The importance of oxidative stress due to malarial infection in pregnancy has been described in an original article,[4] whereas another article has investigated the various modalities for the diagnosis of visceral leishmaniasis.[5] A report from Assam focuses on the prevalence of neurocysticercosis and epilepsy,[6] whereas another one from Australia describes the importance of molecular epidemiological markers for Strongyloides stercoralis.[7] Scabies in school children in Indonesia is the topic for another original article.[8] One dispatch and the letter to the editor are concerning filariasis,[9],[10] whereas another dispatch is the report of finding a rare parasite, Dicrocoelium spp., in a patient with urticaria.[11]

We hope that the readers will be having a good read of the articles of their interest.


1Parija SC. Climate adaptation impacting parasitic infection. Trop Parasitol 2022;12:3-7.
2Langbang D, Dhodapkar R, Parija SC, Premarajan KC, Rajkumari N. Molecular characterization of Giardia intestinalis assemblages in children among the rural and urban population of Pondicherry, India. Trop Parasitol 2022;12:8-14.
3Elhadad H, Abdo S, Salem AI, Mohamed MA, El-Taweel HA, El-Abd EA. Comparison of gdh polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism and tpi assemblage-specific primers for characterization of Giardia intestinalis in children. Trop Parasitol 2022;12:41-7.
4Chandrashekhar VN, Punnath K, Dayanand KK, Kakkilaya SB, Jayadev P, Kumari SN, et al. Impact of oxidative stress in response to malarial infection during pregnancy: Complications, histological changes, and pregnancy outcomes. Trop Parasitol 2022;12:21-33.
5Singhai M, Kakkar N, Gupta N, Bala M, Singh R, Singh SK. Utility of smear examination, culture, and serological tests in the diagnosis of visceral leishmaniasis/post-kala-azar dermal leishmaniasis at National Centre for Disease Control, Delhi. Trop Parasitol 2022;12:54-8.
6Devi KR, Borbora D, Upadhyay N, Goswami D, Rajguru SK, Narain K. High prevalence of neurocysticercosis among patients with epilepsy in a tertiary care hospital of Assam, India. Trop Parasitol 2022;12:15-20.
7Sultana Y, Kong F, Mukutmoni M, Fahria L, Begum A, Lee R. Internal transcribed spacer region 1 as promising target for detection of intra-specific polymorphisms for Strongyloides stercoralis. Trop Parasitol 2022;12:48-53.
8Yulfi H, Zulkhair MF, Yosi A. Scabies infection among boarding school students in Medan, Indonesia: Epidemiology, risk factors, and recommended prevention. Trop Parasitol 2022;12:34-40.
9Shastri M, Nanda A. Breast filariasis masquerading as carcinoma: Cytologic diagnosis in two cases. Trop Parasitol 2022;12:59-61.
10Sookaromdee P, Wiwanitkit V. Relationship between incidence of lymphatic filariasis and incidence of COVID-19: An observation from endemic area. Trop Parasitol 2022;12:65.
11Lall N, Deshmukh AB, Saoji SV. Human Dicrocoeliosis with Urticaria: A case report from India. Trop Parasitol 2022;12:62-4.