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The laboratory haematologist has a role in the diagnosis of parasitic infections. Peripheral blood examination is critical in the diagnosis of malaria, babesiosis, filariasis and trypanosomiasis. Bone marrow examination is important in the diagnosis of leishmaniasis and occasionally leads to the diagnosis of other parasitic infections. The detection of eosinophilia or iron deficiency anaemia can alert the laboratory haematologist or physician to the possibility of parasitic infection. In addition to morphological skills, an adequate clinical history is important for speedy and accurate diagnosis, particularly in non-endemic areas.