Navigation Links
Parasitology


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, molecular biology, immunology, genetics and ecology.

The parasitic mode of life is the most common on the planet, with representatives from all major taxa, from the simplest unicellular organisms to complex vertebrates. Every free-living species has its own unique species of parasite, so the number of parasitic species greatly exceeds the number of free living species.

Contents

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.

Medical parasitology

One of the largest fields in parasitology, medical parasitology is the study of those parasites which infect humans. These include unicellular organisms such as Plasmodium spp., the organism which causes malaria, Leishmania donovani, the organism which causes leishmaniasis and multicellular organisms such as Schistosoma spp., Wuchereria bancrofti and Necator americanus. Medical parasitology can involve drug development, epidimiological studies and study of zoonoses.

Veterinary parasitology

The study of parasites which cause economic losses in agriculture or aquaculture operations, or which infect companion animals. Examples of species studied are Lucilia cericata, the 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, Otodectes cynotis, the cat ear mite, responsible for Canker, and Gyrodactylus salaris, a monogenean parasite of salmon, which can wipe out populations which are not resistant.

Parasite ecology and population genetics

The study of parasites can reveal information about their relationship with the host (eg. influences on mortality rate) and relationships between different populations of host species. This technique is commonly applied in fisheries biology, where parasites are used to identify different populations of the same fish. This forms an interesting application of the Red Queen hypothesis.

Taxonomy and phylogenetics

The huge diversity within the parasitic animals creates a challenge for biologists 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.

See also

External links



'"/>


(Date:12/22/2014)... 2014 Research and Markets ... of the "The Global Watermarking and ... http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130307/600769 ... of the global digital media watermarking and ... monitor piracy by securely and invisibly embedding ...
(Date:12/19/2014)...  23andMe, Inc., the leading personal genetics company, today ... differences in genetic ancestry of individuals from across ... immigrants first arrived more than four hundred years ago, ... as a meeting place for peoples from different continents. ... mixing of peoples with African, European, and American origins ...
(Date:12/17/2014)...  HITLAB SM announced today its completion ... confirm its adherence to current U.S. Food and ... to conduct regulated smart device and smart phone ... safety and research quality. "HITLAB is ... delivery with innovative technology," said Laura Pugliese ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):The Global Watermarking and Fingerprinting Markets 223andMe Study Sketches Genetic Portrait of the United States 223andMe Study Sketches Genetic Portrait of the United States 323andMe Study Sketches Genetic Portrait of the United States 4HITLAB Completes GCP Audit for FDA Smart Device & App Compliance 2
... Scientific progress in Huntington,s disease (HD) relies upon the ... the disease,s genetics and/or pathophysiology. Large animal models, such ... rodent models, including a larger brain that is amenable ... more human-like neuro-architecture. Three articles in the latest issue ...
... to osteoporosis are a major cause of disability or premature ... who have already suffered one fragility fracture; they are at ... others who have not fractured. Nevertheless health care ... these patients, leaving them exposed to debilitating and life-threatening secondary ...
... and wild plants has concluded they are under threat ... decline or loss could have profound environmental, human health ... services to about 75% of crop species and enable ... Pollination services provided by insects each year worldwide are ...
Cached Biology News:Large animal models of Huntington's disease offer new and promising research options 2Large animal models of Huntington's disease offer new and promising research options 3Large animal models of Huntington's disease offer new and promising research options 4New review sets international standards for best practice in fracture liaison services 2Cocktail of multiple pressures combine to threaten the world's pollinating insects 2
Other biology definitionOther Tags