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Parasites: Categories And Life Stages

by Jane Thurnell-Read

 

Here's a short introduction to the wonderful world of parasites.

 

A parasite is "any organism living in or on any other living creature and deriving advantage from doing so, while causing disadvantage to the host" BMA Complete Family Health Encyclopaedia

 

Parasites are commonly acquired by eating contaminated meat, swallowing eggs on food, contaminating fingers with faecal material or through contact with infected water.

 


CATEGORIES OF PARASITES

Parasites are divided into the following categories:


1. FLATWORMS (also called platyhelminths)

    a) tapeworms (also called cestodes)

    b) flukes (also called trematodes)

2. ROUNDWORMS

    a) threadworms

    b) pinworms

    c) hookworms

 

LIFE STAGES OF PARASITES

The different categories of parasites go through different life stages.

  • Tapeworms: egg becomes larva, which becomes encased by body in a cyst, which becomes adult
  • Fluke: egg becomes miracidia, which becomes redia, which becomes cercaria, which becomes metacercaria, which becomes adult
  • Roundworms: egg becomes larva, which becomes adult

We sell two parasite test kits. You can get more information on Parasite 1 and Parasite 2 Test Kit and order online.

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