Research into cell cycle control in protozoan parasites, which are responsible for major public health problems in the developing world, has been hampered by the difficulties in performing classical genetic analysis with these organisms. Nevertheless, in a large part thanks to the data gathered in other eukaryotic systems and to the acquisition of the sequences of parasite genes homologous to cell cycle regulators, many molecular tools required for an in-depth study of the cell cycle in protozoan parasites have been collected over the past few years. Despite the considerable phylogenetic divergence between these organisms and other eukaryotes, and notwithstanding important specificities such as the apparent lack of checkpoints during cell cycle progression, available data indicate that the major families of cell cycle regulators appear to operate in protozoan parasites. Functional studies are now needed to define the precise role of these regulators in the life cycle of the parasites, and to possibly validate cell cycle control elements as potential targets for chemotherapy.