Parasitic diseases are still prevalent in many parts of the world, causing both human suffering and economic loss. Recent developments in biotechnology, such as the use of monoclonal antibodies and recombinant DNA, have the potential for providing both more extensive and detailed information on the parasite in the infected human and in insect vectors. New methods of detection, both in man and insect vectors, have been developed for two parasitic diseases, leishmaniasis and malaria. These new methodologies will be important in epidemiologic studies on the prevalence and transmission of these parasitic diseases.