Parasitism is the relationship between two organisms where one is living at the expense of the other. Parasites are highly specialised, have nutritional dependence on the host and can avoid an immunological attack. They have evolved to integrate their life cycle with that of their host species. The two main groups of parasites are the microparasites and the macroparasites. Protozoa are microparasites as they multiply within the host. Macroparasites on the other hand, establish themselves in or on the host but produce eggs or larvae which are dispersed to the environment. Macroparasites include helminths and arthropods. The number of macroparasites in the body reflects the number which invaded the animal.
Information on the diagnostic tests, collecting of samples and identification of parasites
- Veterinary Parasitology Images "Courtesy of Thomas Nolan, Laboratory of Parasitology, University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine"
A glossary of the important concepts and terms in parasitology
This section relies heavily on lecture notes and input from:
- Professor Dennis Jacobs
- Dr Mark T Fox BVetMed PhD HFEA DipEVPC MRCVS
- Wall and Shearer: Veterinary Entomology
- Taylor, Coop and Wall: Veterinary Parasitology, third edition