Aims: With the unique importance parasitology has constituted itself as a distinct discipline in the biomedical field. This review deals with malaria parasitology – molecular and cellular. In his seminal work, Thomas Kuhn introduces a concept he calls ‘normal science’ which ‘is predicated on the assumption that the scientific community knows what the world is like’. Parasitology has arrived at that stage of normalization and gained an unquestioned place in academic, research and clinical arenas. While this is certainly a huge success it also points to the need for an epistemological account how the normal state of malaria parasitology stands. What is it to be underpinning of parasitology? What does it take to be a parasite? Or how does parasite become a concept? How does the parasite theory take form? How does this knowledge of parasitology turn into the application to combat malaria infection? In addition to explore these specific questions, the paper aims at examining how parasitology reveals the situation of malaria parasites ‘as it really is’.
Methods: The study draws on a systematic review recently carried out focusing on above questions. A procedure to find, evaluate, synthesize, the results of relevant literature has operated involving ‘clear inclusion/exclusion criteria’, ‘explicit search strategy’, ‘systematic coding and analysis’, and ‘meta-analysis’.
Results: Underpinning on a positivist tenet parasitology involves an epistemic process ‘priori (rational) & posteriori (empirical)’ to beget notions and concepts of, and related to, parasite. The parasite theory consists of such notions, concepts and their relationships and targets at least three purposes: explaining why and how malaria parasite occurs, predicting what is going to happen. Intervention, the third purpose is linked with parasitology knowledge turning into the application by developing anti-parasitic drugs, vaccines, and measures.
Conclusions: The paper suggests few epistemological issues be addressed by academics, researchers, and clinicians.