Parasites and tropical diseases

Natural History Museum researchers examine the diversity, behaviour, ecology and evolution of parasites. This work helps to support programmes of disease eradication and control, and provides fascinating insights into the interactions and intricacies of life on this planet.

Parasites have a huge impact on the health and wellbeing of the human population, particularly in the developing world e.g.  Around 1 million people die of malaria each year, primarily children under the age of five in sub-Saharan Africa. Parasites also infect domestic and wild animals, fish stocks and food crops.

By studying parasites and the vectors that carry them, Museum scientists are contributing towards the control of devastating diseases of plants, animals and people.

  • Cover of International journal for parasitology
    Understanding parasitic worms

    Parasitologists at the Museum have been studying helminths, or parasitic worms, for well over 100 years – and yielding fascinating results.

  • Schistosoma mansoni cercariae
    Neglected tropical diseases

    Research scientists at the Museum play an important role by providing the necessary expertise for the identification of medically important insects and snails.