Teaching and Diagnostic Unit

The Teaching and Diagnostic Unit (TDU) offers a referral service for the identification of parasites from human and primate clinical specimens, and provides teaching and practical training in Diagnostic Parasitology.

In addition to the diagnostic work, the TDU is responsible for the provision of parasitology, microbiology and entomology practical classes for the Faculty’s Masters and short courses.

Diagnostic Services

The TDU is comprised of the Public Health England (PHE) Malaria Reference Laboratory and the School's Diagnostic Parasitology Laboratory. The Laboratories are accredited to ISO 15189 and provide both a reference and a primary diagnostic service to hospitals, private laboratories and clinics in the UK and overseas.

The DPL additionally offers a diagnostic service for zoos and primate sanctuaries. 

Both diagnostic laboratories perform a wide range of tests ranging from morphological diagnosis by microscopy to molecular diagnosis.

(Please note we are unable to give clinical advice or accept specimens directly from members of the public)

Malaria Reference Laboratory (MRL)

The Malaria Reference Laboratory (MRL) performs approximately 1500 confirmations and diagnoses annually using microscopical and molecular diagnostic methods and, in addition, carries out molecular identification and drug resistance surveillance on blood samples submitted for malaria diagnosis.

Diagnostic Parasitology Laboratory (DPL)

The Diagnostic Parasitology Laboratory (DPL) performs approximately 2000 diagnoses on a wide range of specimens and parasites annually.  Alongside the routine diagnosis of faecal, blood and tissue parasites, the DPL provides a reference service for the isolation and identification of free-living amoebic infections in humans which includes the diagnosis of Acanthamoeba keratitis.

Staff are involved in research and developmental work on new and improved diagnostic methods.

Entomology Reference

The Entomology Reference Service performs approximately 150 identifications of medically important insects, ticks and mites annually. We also provide information on the diseases associated with each specimen and other impacts on human health.

Teaching & training

The TDU is responsible for the provision of parasitology, microbiology and entomology practical classes for the Faculty’s Masters and Diploma courses including both the London based and East Africa based Diploma in Tropical Medicine and Hygiene and the Diploma in Tropical Nursing.

The Unit runs two successful diagnostic short courses each year. The Laboratory Diagnosis of Parasites and Laboratory Diagnosis of Malaria courses attract clinical and biomedical staff from both UK and overseas pathology laboratories.

Senior staff are involved in the Distance Learning program and give lectures in areas of expertise to hospital pathology laboratories and at national and international meetings as well as to in-house students.

Staff in the TDU also give advice and training on a one to one basis to biomedical scientists, clinical scientists and clinical staff and to LSHTM research staff and MSc students undertaking research projects.

Key contacts