Guide Encyclopedia of parasitology

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The worldwide use of pesticides containing DDT greatly reduced the incidence of malaria, but since DDT was found to contain possibly carcinogenic cancer-causing chemicals in the late s, its use has declined greatly, and in turn, the incidence of malaria has increased sharply around the world. As of , malaria is estimated to have killed more than — million people over the centuries and still kills an estimated 2.

Many countries in these regions are returning to the use of DDT to control the mosquitoes carrying the parasite that causes malaria. Trichomonas vaginalis is a sexually transmitted parasite that exists only as trophozoites, causing genital itching and smelly-greenish vaginal secretions as well as urethritis a burning sensation when urinating.

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In men, the only symptom is urethritis, although the parasite is transmitted in the prostatic secretions secretions of the prostate gland. The use of condoms prevents infection. When found in a child, this and other sexually transmitted diseases may suggest a case of child molestation. Some rare cases of trichomoniasis appear to be associated with contact with wet toilet seats.

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Toxoplasma gondii , a blood parasite, may be transmitted through the contact with infected feces of cats and other mammals, or by consumption of raw or undercooked meat or contaminated water, causing toxoplasmosis. It can be also transmitted from mother to the fetus, in what is known as congenital toxoplasmosis. Congenital infection favors miscarriage, neonatal mental retardation , or chorioretinitis inflammation of the choroids portion of the eye , which leads to blindness during childhood.


In immunodepressed adults, toxoplasmosis may cause encephalitis, although most of the infected population remains asymptomatic, due to the action of the immune system. However, T. As long as the infected individual's immune system is healthy, antibodies and the immune cells will keep the infection at bay, preventing disease progression.

Periodical tests for these and other parasitic infestations are a valuable preventive measure that can avert serious and unnecessary diseases and even death. Cite this article Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography. September 22, Retrieved September 22, from Encyclopedia. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list. Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.

Another field where parasitology is also important is legal medicine, as some parasitic pathogens disease-causing organisms are transmitted through sexual contact and may constitute evidence of crime, especially in cases of child molestation. All patients recalled that they had eaten sushi, a raw fish dish, 10 days prior to the onset of symptoms. The most commonly occurring parasites in humans can be also grouped according to the areas of the body they infest, such as 1 , the intestinal tract Giardia lamblia, Entamoeba histolytica, and Cryptosporidium ; 2 , urogenital tract flagellate Trichomonas vaginalis ; 3 , blood and tissues flagellates Leishmania and Trypanosoma, protozoans Toxoplasma and Plasmodium.

Giardiasis, or infestation by Giardia lamblia, occurs in two forms: Giardia trophozoites active Giardia and cysts latent, non-mobile Giardia. Entamoeba histolytica have two life-cycle phases: trophozoites or mobile ameba and cyst non mobile phases. GAE occurs in patients with immuno-deficiencies and leads to death within several weeks to a year after the onset of disease. Between and , 22 cases of ameba-related ocular lesions were reported to the Centers for Disease Control.

Toxoplasma gondii, a blood parasite, may be transmitted through the contact with infected feces of cats and other mammals, or by consumption of raw or undercooked meat or contaminated water, causing toxoplasmosis. See also Disease ; Forensic science ; Parasites ; Pathogens.

Print this article Print all entries for this topic Cite this article. Parasitology Parasitology is the study of parasites, organisms that live, grow, and feed on or in other organisms. Learn more about citation styles Citation styles Encyclopedia. Proceedings Lecture Notes in Computer Science.

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