Parasitology, Harold W. Manter Laboratory of


Date of this Version



Published in Trends in Parasitology (June 2001) 17(6): 273-275.


Taxonomic names and phylogenetic hypotheses are indispensable tools for modern biological research, both basic and applied. Like all disciplines, parasitology suffers from the ‘taxonomic impediment’ – a global shortage of professional taxonomists and systematists. Only a fraction of the species of parasites on this planet have been identified, and the evolutionary relationships of only a minority of those are understood; thus, information on how to manage parasite biodiversity, including known and potential disease agents, is incomplete. A renewal of systematic parasitology has a key role in redefining the relationship between mankind and the organisms whose biology fascinates us so much.

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