Questions tagged [parasitology]

The study of parasites, their hosts, and the relationship between them.

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How would evolution explain parastitic wasps? [duplicate]

I read this article about wasps that can do "brain surgery" on cockroaches. https://www.wired.com/2014/02/absurd-creature-of-the-week-jewel-wasp/ How does evolution create such a thing? The brain ...
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Are there other examples besides wasps' polydnaviruses in which a parasitic species introduces an immunosuppressant virus in the parasite's host?

An interesting form of mutualism: Parasitoid wasps serve as hosts for the virus, and Lepidoptera serve as hosts for these wasps. The female wasp injects one or more eggs into its host along with a ...
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Why is untreated trypanosomiasis invariably fatal in humans?

If left untreated, African trypanosomiasis will invariably kill the patient. The human immune system is unable to clear the infection. I am aware of a few other infectious diseases with this property ...
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Why are bats so resistant to getting disease from viruses? [duplicate]

I saw in the YouTube video COVID-19 that bats carry so many viruses, yet never or almost never get a disease by any of them. I'm looking for an evolutionary reason as well as a reason based on how ...
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A plant in my aquarium seems to be growing small plants under its leaves, what's going on?

In my aquarium I have this plant. I think it's a kind of swordplant. I've loosely attached it to a large piece of driftwood in the hope that it will grow itself on there, I saw that they had done the ...
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Long-term viability of induced parthenogenesis

Short version: Some parasitic bacteria, such as Wolbachia, cause hosts from sexually-reproducing insect species to reproduce asexually instead, with an all-female line. Sometimes, all members of the ...
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The emergence of Phengaris butterflies from ant nests

The butterflies of the Phengaris genus (also known as Maculinea) are known to be brood parasitic. During the fourth instar, the caterpillars leave their food plant and mimic ant larvae, causing the ...
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How do schistosomes find and attach to human skin?

Schistosomes are parasitic flatworms that have a snail intermediate host and a human definitive host. After developing in the snail, they (cercariae stage) escape into the water and can attach to the ...
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129 views

How do parasites “reprogram” brains?

Dicrocoelium dendriticum is a parasite that uses ants as a second intermediate host (which means that ants aren't its primary host/target, but are rather a temporary host to help reach their main/...
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Life cycle of Ascaris worms

Why do Ascaris larva move to the epiglottis from the lungs only to come down with food to the small intestine and become an adult?
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Viability of Toxoplasmosis oocysts on dry smooth surfaces

This is a weird question. My wife is terrified of contracting toxoplasmosis during pregnancy and I was hoping I could get an expert opinion here to potentially make her feel better. She recently ...
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How to isolate a high proportion of available helminth ova from animal faeces/feces without damaging them?

I need to isolate large numbers (tens to hundreds of thousands) of cat (and later dog) hookworm ova from cat/dog faeces. I have a centrifuge, and various sieves with pore sizes of 20, 63, 75, 106, ...
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What does it mean for Caenorhabditis species to be “pseudoparasitic”?

In this Wormbook chapter, Kiontke says that some Caenorhabditis species live "pseudoparasitically" on warm-blooded animals. What does it mean? What is a pseudoparasite? I understand a parasite to be ...
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Why some eggs are bile stained?

Why eggs of some helminths( Diphyllobothrium latum, Trichuris trichiura, Ascaris lumbricoides etc) are stained with bile while eggs of other helminths( Hymenolepis nana, Enterobius vermicularis etc.) ...
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Why do so many parasites infect definitive and intermediate hosts rather than just one host?

Many parasites infect multiple host species, with one host species being the definitive host (where the parasite reproduces), and the other host species being the intermediate host (where the parasite ...
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Are some people more 'attractive' to mosquitos? If so, is that a hereditary trait?

Mosquitos clearly love me-- but I have been told I am just more reactive to mosquito bites. Are some people more 'attractive' to mosquitos (get bit more)? Or is it just that they are more reactive? If ...
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can one be infected with Naegleria fowleri by taking Steam?

will Naegleria fowleri be present in the steam molecules. Many people take steam from hot water to get relief from sinus. I read somewhere that Naegleria fowleri gets killed over 70 C. So steam will ...
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Are there any plants that parasitize on animals?

It seems, fungi often infect animals, while plants it seems, never. Is it because the cellulose cell walls make them incompatible with animal tissue?
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Can toilet or sewage aerosol transfer eggs of human parasites?

Flushing a toilet produces hundreds of thousands of tiny droplets containing viruses and bacteria (source): Up to 145,000 droplets were produced per flush, with the high-energy flushometer ...
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Found in blood sample - what is it? Hopefully not a nemotode-

After examining someone's blood - through microscope - I found these. There were some more that were not photographed. Could someone please inform me on what these are? Maybe abiotic material on the ...
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Why are there no endoparasitic mammals or reptiles or birds? [closed]

I am curious why there aren’t any endoparasitic mammals, reptiles or birds Endoparasite being a parasite that live In the host whereas ectoparasite lives On the host I hope this clears up confusion
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Are there any parasites that alter human behavior in a self destructive way?

There seems to be quite a few examples of parasites taking over the behavior of insects in a way that leads to the death of the host. A couple of examples include: Spinochordodes tellinii: A ...
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Exclusion Limit and permeability of outer membrane

According to this textbook: P aeruginosa, for example, which is extremely resistant to antibacterial agents, the outer membrane is 100 times less permeable than that of E coli.[pg.no 27] and then ...
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Could there be latent infections in the human population that we don't know of?

Herpes simplex 1 virus and toxoplasmosis are common infections that that many of use have (65% and 10% of americans, respectively). Both of these are chronic, latent infections that can occasionally ...
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Sub-saharan africans (Andamanese, Semang) have the ancestral hair-type, do they also have pediculus humanus capitis lice?

Do humans with the ancestral hair-type also have pediculus humanus capitis lice? Pubic hair lice, Pthirus pubis, are adapted morphologically to cling onto coarse body hair, and originates from ...
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Do Pthirus gorillae remain in gorilla leaf nests after gorillas migrate and abandon them?

Gorillas build leaf nests to sleep in. Do the lice which parasitise gorillas, Pthirus gorilla, remain in gorilla leaf nests after gorillas migrate to new regions (and abandon the old nests)?
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382 views

Why don't mosquitoes target the visible blood vessels under the skin?

We can see numerous veins under our skin. Why don't mosquitoes suck blood from those vessels? Why don't they use better option?
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Mackerel evolutionary health affected by loss of predators?

I notice that Atlantic Mackerel (Scombrus scombrus) is endemically affected by parasites. In one study I read that the researchers found that over 70% of the mackerel sampled were infected with ...
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How does the immune system fight scabies mites?

After a distressing episode involving my elderly mother and a nursing home, I've been reading up on scabies. It seems that in healthy people, the immune system limits the mite population to around 10 ...
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Validation of houskeeping genes in a mixture of cDNAs of two species

I have a parasite sample (mixed with host blood) and I need to check gene expressions of parasite using relative quantification (RT_qPCR). For this, I need a good housekeeping gene. I chose 10 genes (...
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Save endangered parasitic species?

It seems to be an important issue the parasitic control and even some pursue the eradication of some species. Most of the researchers in parasitology are focused on the host damage and population ...
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How did parasitoid wasps evolve their life cycle?

I know there are a variety of wasps with various strategies for acquiring and controlling hosts. Do these form a rough picture of how these life cycles could have developed in the first place? What is ...
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RNA seq: Should non-infected units be used for RNA-seq?

I am designing a RNA-seq experiment to study transcriptomic profile changes upon parasite exposure. Some papers I read, mostly extract RNA from the entire treatment group (organisms exposed to ...
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693 views

Worm found inside of wahoo

A fisherman from Hawaii wrote the following: This Fat juicy worm lives inside of every Wahoo that I catch. Inside the stomach. Right at the junction to the intestines. Sometimes there are two. ...
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What is the estimated number of variant surface glycoproteins that trypansomes can express?

In "Vaccination against trypanosomiasis" by Greca and Magez they assert that there are "innumerable" variant surface glycoproteins that the parasite can express. What does innumerable mean here? These ...
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What is meant by bionomics of a vector?

What is supposed to fall under the title Bionomics (The study of an organism and its relation to its environment; ecology.)? Suppose we are dealing with a vector, Anopheles sp. are the following ...
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What is the difference between Reservoir and paratenic hosts?

Paratenic host 'In parasitology, the term paratenic describes a host that is not necessary for the development of a particular species of parasite, but nonetheless may happen to serve to maintain the ...
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Parthenogenesis Induction

I have read about Parthenogenesis induction in a paper : "Hagimori T, Abe Y, Date S, Miura K (2006) The first finding of a Rickettsia bacterium associated with parthenogenesis induction among insects. ...
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What decides the nocturnal periodicity of microfilariae?

Microfilariae, which are the larvae of filarial worms show a nocturnal periodicity of entering into blood in south Asia and China. This coincides with the biting habits of its vector. The same very ...
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Laurus Nobilis parasite identification

In north Italy were I live I have two plants of laurus at the two sides of a garden. One of them has some sort of parasite on its leaves. Someone know something about it? Leaves are covered with ...
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Can a zombie apocalypse really occur? [duplicate]

Now, before you flag this question as blatantly off-topic, I claim to have a scientific basis for this(!): not some drug or remote control, but parasitic infection. While reading about behavior ...
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Are there specific non-protein substances that pathogens release into their host?

Reading research articles, I have found out that proteins called effectors get released into the host cell when a pathogen attacks a host. My question is, whether pathogens also release non-protein ...
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How can a tongue-biting parasitic arthropod become a fully functional tongue?

From wikipedia: The parasite Cymothoa exigua [consumes a fish's tongue and] then replaces [it] by attaching its own body to the muscles of the tongue stub. The fish is able to use the parasite just ...
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What makes worms' eggs float or sink?

In parasitology, while examining the stool sample, one important thing you do is test whether the eggs float on water or sink. We never did that since our coursework limits itself to microscopic ...
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Why is the species-diversity of deadly parasites greatest in the tropics?

There are so many parasites living in tropical regions of Africa, South America, or Asia, but very few in Europe or North America. Is this due to climate, or are there other reasons? Many of the ...
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728 views

Blood clumping in mosquitos

Will a mosquito die due to blood clumping if it sucks blood from two people who have different blood groups? What will happen in its gut? Is there any mechanism to avoid clumping? Or do mosquitoes ...
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Does a specific blood group enhance the Plasmodium growth?

I am maintaining Plasmodium falciparum cultures for past 6 months. For the blood culture, usually we lab members take turns and donate blood for the culture. I observed that the parasite's normal ...
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Can a reservoir host act as a vector?

Is it possible to get an infection by contact with a reservoir host ? Can a reservoir host act as a vector ? What is the distinction between these two concepts (reservoir host vs vector) ?
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Why does histamine release in Type I hypersensitivity help in case of parasites?

The IgE system exists because the same events which lead to often-life threatening complications of allergy, in presence of parasites are helpful in their elimination. The tissue injury mediated ...
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725 views

Spread of malaria from an infected person

If a person is infected with malaria, how can that person be a part of spreading malaria? As in, if a female anopheles mosquito sucks blood out of that infected individual, how is it possible that ...