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parasite parasitology terminology
important terms to remember for the study of parasite
Definition: the study of parasites and their interaction with their host.
An interdisciplinary field including phylogeny, ecology, morphology, physiology, biochemistry, immunology, pharmacology, nutrition and more.
when two symbionts travel together yet neither is physiologically depending on the other.
Definition: The smaller symbiont in a phoretic relationship which is mechanically carried by the Host from one place to another. It is not physiologically dependent on the host.
Example: Bacteria (phoront) on the legs of a fly (host).
: When one symbiont (commensal) benefits from its relationship with the host; while the host is neither harmed, nor benefits.
Neither is physiologically dependent on each other, and can survive independently.
Example: Hermit crabs carry sea anemones on their borrowed shells.
Definition: two symbionts called mutualists both benefit from their association together and are physiologically dependent on one another. Mutuals cannot survive without being associated together.
Example: Lichens are a fungus and an algae that grow together. Coral reefs and zooxanthellae.
Definition: a symbiont that harms the host or at some way lives at the expense of the host. Often the smaller of the two organisms.
Examples: Flat worms, round worms, tape worms and ectoparasites.
Definition: a parasite that intermittently visits the host for food, or reproduction.
Example: Ticks, leeches, other micropredators
Definition: A parasite that is completely dependent on its host for a majority of its life cycle.
Example: Tape worms in the intestines
Definition: A parasite that is physiologically dependent on their host and cannot exist outside the host for any extended periods of time.
Example: Most parasites fall into this catagory
Definition: A parasite that only becomes parasitic when accidentally eaten or encountered, but that are typically free living organisms.
Example: Free living amoebas like
and nematodes like
Accidental or Incidental Parasite
Definition: When a parasite accidentally enters or attaches to the body of the wrong host. It cannot stay long, but they may cause lots of harm while there.
Example: Bird flukes temporarily found in the skin of humans.
Definition: a parasite that lives on the surface, or superficially embedded in the skin of the host.
Example: Leeches, ticks, fleas.
Definition: a parasite that lives internally in the digestive, or respiratory tract, liver, or urinary bladder.