9 Examples of Parasitism

Examples of Parasitism

What is Parasitism?

Parasitism is defined as the symbiotic relationship that exists between species in which one organism known as the parasite, lives in or on another organism called the host to feed on it or course harm.

Examples of these parasites are; fungi which include carriers of ringworm, honey fungus; protozoans such as carriers of Tse-Tse fly, malaria etc. Mistletoe, broom rapes. Which are found in plants.

Parasitic strategies of exploitation of animal hosts are of six main types namely;

• Vector-transmitted Parasitism

• Micro Predation

• Parasitic castration

• Trophically transmitted Parasitism

• Parasitoidism

• Directly transmitted Parasitism

The work of a parasite is to cause a reduction in the host’s fitness level by specialized or common pathology (pathology is the study of the nature and cause of disease). It transits from causing a blockage in the reproduction by the host to its own benefits through parasitic castration to modification the host’s behaviour.

They use the host for resources to boost their own fitness, and by also feeding on them to survive. Parasitism is also part of an array of interactions existing between species, scaling through parasitoidism into Predation, from evolution to mutualism.

Examples of Parasitism

There are many examples of Parasitism both in human, plants and even in the ocean, but we are only considering nine(9) of them;

Plasmodium (malaria)

I am sure you are very conversant with this parasite called Plasmodium, which is a carrier of the sickness called malaria. Malaria is caused by five Plasmodium of different species, carried by mosquitoes when feeding infected blood and then spread it to other victims.

Trypamosoma (sleeping sickness)

Trypamosoma is a parasite of the protozoa family that consist of multiple human parasites like; T.cruzei which is an assassin parasite bug that causes Chagas disease which is a potentially fatal disease; also T.brucei which infects the brain, making people fall asleep every time.

Climex (bedbugs)

Climex are of two types namely; climex hemipterus and climex lectularius. Three decades ago it was believed that bedbugs were an easy problem to solve but today bedbugs are troubling the human tremendously. They feed on humans blood using their sharp proboscis(trunk or pipe which they use to suck the blood of their host) as nearly invisible as they are.

Faciola hepatic a (Liver fluke)

This parasite attacks the liver of mostly cattle and sheep, though humans are not left out. It feeds on the bile and tissue. The good news is that these parasite can be treated.

Schistosoma (Parasitic flatworm)

Ranked as number two on the list of most deadly disease globally, the schistosomiasis is gotten from worm infected freshwater, it affects the liver and kidney, resulting in liver and kidney failure. It causes bloody urine, and also abdominal pains.

Taenia solium (Pork tapeworm)

Taenia Solium which is carried by pork tapeworm attacks the digestive tracts due to intake of undercooked pork which has the tapeworm, a carrier of Taenia Solium. Worthy of note is the fact that T. Solium is the most common species of tapeworm found in humans. It can live in the digest tract for years.

Trichinella (Trichinosis)

Trichinella is a parasitic worm that attacks the human intestine resulting in trichinosis which causes indigestion, cramps etc. Statically it was shown that in the early 2000s, the United States had a total of 20 cases of trichinosis. Efficient handling and processing of meat have made trichinosis rare.

Tabanidae (Horse flies)

These parasites are closely related to house flies, they usually feed on domestic animals. The female horse flies like the female anopheles mosquito usually bite as they use the blood they suck from these animals to nourish their eggs. They not only feed on animals to survive but they are all so in the habit of spreading diseases. They sometimes affect humans though their target is mostly animals, hence the name horse flies.

Pediculus humanis (Head and body lice)

Pediculus parasites are of two identical species in which the human body is their place of abode. The human head louse is referred to as P.humanis capitis. The rare counterpart is called P.humanus humans, it is found in the body. It causes uncontrollable and annoying itching coupled with a disease called typhus.

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