Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

New discovery paves way for next generation malaria vaccine

In an unprecedented first, scientists at Seattle Children's Research Institute have developed a genetically attenuated parasite (GAP) that arrests late in the liver stage of human malaria. Their findings published in JCI ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

A compound unlike any other

A compound discovered in the gills of wood-eating clams could be the solution to a group of parasites responsible for some of the world's most common infections.

Medical research

New study could pave way to cure of global parasite

Clemson University scientists have taken another step forward in their quest to find a cure for a notorious parasite that has infected more than 40 million Americans and many times that number around the world.

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Malaria parasite ticks to its own internal clock

When a person gets malaria, a rhythmic dance takes place inside their body. The disease's telltale signs—cyclical fevers and chills—are caused by successive broods of parasites multiplying in sync inside red blood cells, ...

page 1 from 86

Parasitism

Parasitism is a type of symbiotic relationship between two different organisms where one organism, the parasite, takes favor from the host, sometimes for a prolonged time. In general, parasites are much smaller than their hosts, show a high degree of specialization for their mode of life, and reproduce more quickly and in greater numbers than their hosts. Classic examples of parasitism include interactions between vertebrate hosts and diverse animals such as tapeworms, flukes, the Plasmodium species, and scabs. Parasitism is differentiated from parasitoidism, a relationship in which the host is always killed by the parasite such as moths, butterflies, ants, flies and others.

The harm and benefit in parasitic interactions concern the biological fitness of the organisms involved. Parasites reduce host fitness in many ways, ranging from general or specialized pathology (such as castration), impairment of secondary sex characteristics, to the modification of host behaviour. Parasites increase their fitness by exploiting hosts for food, habitat and dispersal.

Although the concept of parasitism applies unambiguously to many cases in nature, it is best considered part of a continuum of types of interactions between species, rather than an exclusive category. Particular interactions between species may satisfy some but not all parts of the definition. In many cases, it is difficult to demonstrate that the host is harmed. In others, there may be no apparent specialization on the part of the parasite, or the interaction between the organisms may be short-lived. In medicine, only eukaryotic organisms are considered parasites, with the exclusion of bacteria and viruses. Some branches of biology, however, regard members of these groups as parasitic.[citation needed]

This text uses material from Wikipedia, licensed under CC BY-SA