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Parasitology From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Adult black fly (Simuliumyahense) with (Onchocerca volvulus) emerging from the insect's antenna. The parasite is responsible for the disease known as river blindness in Africa. Sample was chemically fixed and critical point dried, then observed using conventional scanning electron microscopy. Magnified 100. Parasitology is the study of parasites, their hosts, and the relationship between them. As a biological discipline, the scope of parasitology is not determined by the organism or environment in question, but by their way of life. This means it forms a synthesis of other disciplines, and draws on techniques from fields such as cell biology, bioinformatics, biochemistry, molecular biology, immunology, genetics, evolution and ecology. Contents [hide] y 1 Fields o 1.1 Medical parasitology o 1.2 Veterinary parasitology o 1.3 Structural parasitology o 1.4 Quantitative parasitology o 1.5 Parasite ecology o 1.6 Conservation biology of parasites o 1.7 Taxonomy and phylogenetics y 2 See also y 3 External links [edit] Fields The study of these diverse organisms means that the subject is often broken up into simpler, more focused units, which use common techniques, even if they are not studying the same organisms or diseases. Much research in parasitology falls somewhere between two or more of these definitions. In general, the study of prokaryotes fall under the field of bacteriology rather than parasitology. [edit] Medical parasitology See also: Human parasites One of the largest fields in parasitology, medical parasitology is the subject which deals with the parasites that infect man, the diseases caused by them, clinical piture and the response generated by man against them. It's also concerned with the various methods of their diagnosis, treatment and finally their prevention & control. A parasite is an

organism that live on or within another organism called the host . These include organisms such as: y Plasmodium spp., the protozoan parasite which causes malaria. The four species malariae, Plasmodium vivax&Plasmodium ovale. y Leishmaniadonovani, the unicellular organism which causes leishmaniasis y Entamoeba and Giardia, which cause intestinal infections (dysentery and diarrhoea) y Multicellular organisms and worms such as Schistosoma spp., Wuchereriabancrofti, Necatoramericanus (hookworm) and Taenia spp. (tapeworm) y Ectoparasites such as ticks, scabies and lice Medical parasitology can involve drug development, epidemiological studies and study of zoonoses. [edit] Veterinary parasitology Main article: Veterinary parasitology The study of parasites that cause economic losses in agriculture or aquaculture operations, or which infect companion animals. Examples of species studied are: y Luciliasericata, a blowfly, which lays eggs on the skins of farm animals. The maggots hatch and burrow into the flesh, distressing the animal and causing economic loss to the farmer y Otodectescynotis, the catear mite, responsible for Canker. y Gyrodactylussalaris, a monogenean parasite of salmon, which can wipe out populations which are not resistant. [edit] Structural parasitology Main article: Structural parasitology This is the study of structures of proteins from parasites. Determination of parasitic protein structures may help to better understand how these proteins function differently from homologous proteins in humans. In addition, protein structures may inform the process of drug discovery. [edit] Quantitative parasitology Main article: Quantitative parasitology Parasites exhibit an aggregated distribution among host individuals, thus the majority of parasites live in the minority of hosts. This feature forces parasitologists to use advanced biostatistical methodologies. [edit] Parasite ecology Parasites can provide information about host population ecology. In fisheries biology, for example, parasite communities can be used to distinguish distinct populations of the same fish species co-inhabiting a region. Additionally, parasites possess a variety of specialized traits and life-history strategies that enable them to colonize hosts. Understanding these aspects of parasite ecology, of interest in their own right, can illuminate parasite-avoidance strategies employed by hosts [edit] Conservation biology of parasites Main article: Conservation biology of parasites Conservation biology is concerned with the protection and preservation of vulnerable species, including parasites. A large proportion of parasite species are threatened by extinction, partly due to efforts to eradicate parasites which infect humans or domestic

animals, or damage human economy, but also caused by the decline or fragmentation of host populations and the extinction of host species. [edit] Taxonomy and phylogenetics The huge diversity between parasitic organisms creates a challenge for biologists who wish to describe and catalogue them. Recent developments in using DNA to identify separate species and to investigate the relationship between groups at various taxonomic scales has been enormously useful to parasitologists, as many parasites are highly degenerate, disguising relationships between species. Human parasites From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Jump to: navigation, search Human parasites include various protozoa and worms which may infect humans, causing parasitic diseases. Human parasites are divided into endoparasites, which cause infection inside the body, and ectoparasites, which cause infection superficially within the skin. The cysts and eggs of endoparasites may be found in feces which aids in the detection of the parasite in the human host while also providing a means for the parasitic species to exit the current host and enter other hosts.[1] Contents y 1 History o 1.1 Archaeological evidence o 1.2 Written Evidence  1.2.1 Greece and Rome  1.2.2 Northern Africa, The Middle East, and Mesopotamia  1.2.3 China  1.2.4 India y 2 Commonly documented parasites o 2.1 Endoparasites  2.1.1 Protozoa  2.1.2 Parasitic worms and flukes o 2.2 Ectoparasites y 3 Notes [edit] History [edit] Archaeological evidence It is assumed that early human ancestors generally had parasites, but until recently there was no evidence to support this claim. Generally, the discovery of parasites in ancient humans relies on the study of feces and other fossilized material. The earliest known parasite in a human was eggs of the lung fluke found in fossilized feces in northern Chile and is estimated to be from around 5900BC. There are also claims of hookworm eggs from around 5000BC in Brazil and large roundworm eggs from around 2330BC in Peru. Tapeworm eggs have also been found present in Egyptianmummies dating from around 2000BC, 1250BC, and 1000BC along with a well preserved and calcified female worm inside of a mummy [2]:171-173. [edit] Written Evidence

The first written records of parasites date from 3000 to 400BC in Egyptian papyrus records. They identify parasites such as roundworms, Guinea worms, threadworms, and some tapeworms of unknown varieties. In ancient Greece, Hippocrates and Aristotle documented several parasites in his collection of works Corpus Hippocraticus. In this book, they documented the presence of worms and other parasites inside of fish, domesticated animals, and humans. The bladder worm is well documented in its presence in pigs along with the larval stages of a tapeworm (TaeniaSolium). These tapeworms were mentioned in a play by Aristophanes as hailstones with Aristotle in the section about pig diseases in his book History of Animals. The cysts of the Echinococcusgranulosus tapeworm were also well known in ancient cultures mainly because of their presence in slaughtered and sacrificed animals [2]:173-174. The major parasitic disease which has been documented in early records is dracunculiasis. This disease is caused by the Guinea worm and is characterized by the female worm emerging from the leg. This symptom is so specific to the disease that it is mentioned in many texts and plays which predate 1000AD [2]:173. [edit] Greece and Rome In Greece, Hippocrates and Aristotle created considerable medical documentation about parasites in the Corpus Hippocraticus. In this work, they documented the presence of parasitic worms in many animals ranging from fish to domesticated animals and humans. Among the most extensively documented was the Bladder Worm (Taeniasolium). This condition was called measly pork when present in pigs and was characterized by the presence of the larval stages of the Bladder Worm in muscle tissue. This disease was also mentioned by the playwright Aristophanes when he referred to hailstones in one of his plays. This naming convention is also reflected by Aristotle when he refers to bladders that are like hailstones. [2]:173Another worm which was commonly written about in ancient Greek texts was the tapeworm Echinococccusgranulosus. This worm was distinguished by the presence of massive cysts in the liver of animals. This condition was documented so well mainly because of its presence in slaughtered and sacrificed animals. It was documented by several different cultures of the time other than the Greeks including the Arabs, Romans, and Babylonians[2]:173-174. Not many parasitic diseases were identified in ancient Greek and Roman texts mainly because the symptoms for parasitic diseases are shared with many other illnesses such as the flu, the common cold, and dysentery. However, several diseases such as Dracunculiasis (Guinea worm disease), Hookworm, Elephantiasis, Schistosomiasis, Malaria, and Amebiasis cause unique and specific symptoms and are well documented because of this. The most documented by far was Guinea worm disease mainly because the grown female worm emerges from the skin which causes considerable irritation and which cannot really be ignored. This particular disease is widely accepted to also be the fiery serpents written about in the Old Testament of the Bible.[3] This disease was mentioned by Hippocrates in Greece along with Pliny the Elder, Galen, Aetius of Amida, and Paulus Aegineta of Alexandria in Rome. Strangely, this disease was never present in Greece even though it was documented [2]:174. [edit] Northern Africa, The Middle East, and Mesopotamia The ancient Persian doctor Avicenna records the presence of several parasites in animals and in his patients including Guinea worm, threadworms, tapeworms, and the Ascaris worm. This followed a tradition of Arab medical writings spanning over 1000 years in

the area near the Red Sea. However, the Arabs never made the connection between parasites and the diseases they caused [2]:174. As with Greek and Roman texts, the Guinea worm is very well documented in Middle Eastern medical texts. Several Assyriandocuments in the library of King Ashurbanipal refer to an affliction which has been interpreted as Guinea Worm disease [2]:174. In Egypt, the Ebers Papyrus contains one of the few references to hookwormdisease in ancient texts. This disease does not have very specific symptoms and was vaguely mentioned. However vague the reference, it is one of the few that connects the disease to the hookworm parasite[2]:174. Another documented disease is elephantiasis. Symptoms of this disease are highly visible, since it causes extreme swelling in the limbs, breasts, and genitals. A number of surviving statues indicate that PharaohMentuhotep II is likely to have suffered from elephantiasis. This disease was well known to Arabphysicians including Avicenna, who noted specific differences between elephantiasis and leprosy[2]:175. That the disease schistosomiasis was extremely common in Ancient Egyptis suggested by mummified evidence, but it is not specifically documented in surviving texts. Other names for this disease include bilharzia, Katayama disease, Red Water fever, snail fever, and big belly. The only really defining symptom is bloody urine, but this can easily be overlooked as several other diseases exhibit the same symptom. However, the main reason it was not documented is probably because it was simply so common. In the same way, the Greeks and Romans did not acknowledge the existence of colds and coughs because of how common they were [2]:175. [edit] China The Chinese mostly documented diseases rather than the parasites associated with them. Chinese texts contain one of the few references to Hookworm disease found in ancient records, but no connection to hookworm is made [2]:174. The Emperor Huang Ti recorded the earliest mentioning (2700BC) of malaria in his text NeiChing. He lists chills, headaches, and fevers as the main symptoms and distinguished between the different kinds of fevers. [edit] India In India, the CarakaSamhita and SusrutaSamhita document Malaria. These documents list the main symptoms as fever and enlarged spleens.[2] The Brigu-Samhita from 1000BC makes the earliest reference to Amebiasis. The symptoms were given as bloody and mucosal diarrhea.[2] [edit] Commonly documented parasites Further information: List of parasites of humans [edit] Endoparasites [edit] Protozoa y Plasmodium spp. - causes Malaria y Entamoeba - causes amoebiasis, amoebic dysentery y Giardia y Toxoplasma gondii - causes Toxoplasmosis [edit] Parasitic worms and flukes

Guinea worm (Dracunculus) y Schistosoma - causes Schistosomiasis y Strongyloidesstercoralis - causes Strongyloidiasis [4]:495 y Guinea Worm - also known as Dracunculiasis . y Hookworm y Tapeworm [edit] Ectoparasites y Sarcoptesscabiei - causes scabies y Pediculushumanuscapitis - causes headlice y Phthirus pubis - causes pubic lice y Ticks (Ixodoidea)