Natural Sciences

16 Examples of Parasitism

The living beings we relate at all times directly or indirectly. This interaction is called symbiosis , a phenomenon that in turn has different derivations. One of them is parasitism.

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What is parasitism?

It is a type of mutualism or symbiosis in which parasites interrelate with the organism in which they live, and in which they often cause irreparable damage. The organism where the parasites coexist is known as a host.

In parasitism both host and host must adapt to each other. If other parasites are found in the inhabited organism, they coevolve, making the host’s immune system even stronger.

Types of parasites

  • the bacteria
  • The plants
  • the fungi
  • Protists (such as bee complexes or some red algae)
  • The virus , which are obligate parasites.

Classification of parasites

  • Ectoparasites : They live outside their host, that is, on the skin, such as fleas and ticks.
  • Endoparasites : They live inside their host, like amoebas.
  • Mesoparasites : They live both indoors and outdoors, that is, part of their body is embedded in the host and another goes outside.

Examples of parasitism

  • Mites : They are one of the smallest parasites that can inhabit the external part of the human skin, feeding on secretions.
  • Amoebas : Parasites that lodge directly in the intestines of animals and humans, causing malnutrition and disease. There is a type of amoeba called “brain eater” that progressively destroys that organ.
  • Emerald cockroach wasp : It is a parasite that uses its stinger against cockroaches to inject their eggs, and when the larvae hatch they feed on the non-vital tissues of the cockroach.
  • Ticks : Common parasites that live on the skin of animals and feed on the blood of hosts, spreading diseases such as typhus. Sometimes they can infect humans.
  • Guinea worm : It is a very small parasite that lives in microscopic fleas in river water. If someone drinks that water, it can cause that parasite to enter the body and therefore blisters may appear on the skin whose symptom is a burning sensation where they appear.
  • Helminth : They are long-bodied worms that infect the organism of other species.
  • Worms : They are one of the most common parasites and can inhabit both animals and humans. It feeds on the nutrients of the organism where they live.
  • Protozoa : Worms that are only composed of one cell, many live in plants and animals. They produce diseases such as chagas disease or trichomoniasis.
  • Fleas and animals : These parasites live on the skin of animals such as dogs and cause various diseases in them that can even lead to early death.
  • Rhodophytes : They are red algae that are generally parasites of other rhinophytes. They inoculate their cell nuclei into the host’s cells, thereby producing sex cells of the parasitic genome.
  • Sack of green bands : They grow inside the snails. The parasite lodges in the digestive system of those that eat the snail (they are almost always birds), there they reproduce and release their eggs in the feces of these animals.
  • Saculina and crabs : They are parasites belonging to the barnacle family. They inject their soft part into the body of the crabs and render them sterile.
  • Leeches : They feed on the blood of other animals in general.
  • Spumavirus : It is a parasite that causes a virus in primates, but also in humans, the simian foam virus and human foam virus.
  • Termites and trees: Termites eat the trees they inhabit.
  • Viruses : This parasitism is a consequence of the proliferation of various types of worms and parasites that cause a variety of diseases, some more serious than others.

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