The group provides a specialised parasitology reference service for routine diagnostic medical laboratories. The laboratory offers specialised parasitological diagnostic and confirmatory tests. Also, certain important pathogens form the focus of its surveillance, research and teaching activities. Surveillance is currently being done on the unconventional opportunistic pathogen Pneumocystis jirovecii that causes the important AIDS-defining infection, Pneumocystis pneumonia (PcP). The estimation of the burden of parasites in children less than five years of age presenting with diarrhoea is the aim of another surveillance project carried out at sentinel sites in South Africa. Surveillance of drug-resistant malaria in South Africa is a new exciting project beginning in 2014. Research and development of new identification techniques for human parasites are on-going and currently includes projects on opportunistic diseases such as microsporidiosis, toxoplasmosis, and free-living amoeba infections.