The parasitism it is directly associated with a particular relationship, the relationship established between two organisms, in which one lives at the expense of the other. The two necessary protagonists of the parasitism relationship are the one who joins the other people’s environment (the parasite) and the one that provides the medium itself for the action of the parasite (called Guest). For example: fleas, termites, amoebas, mites.
The relationship can occur from many ways, and the host can be seen more or less harmed by the parasite which has some benefit for the reaction. By characteristics of the parasitism relationship is that the term is often extrapolated and taken to other meanings, including the practices of human beings in which some people take advantage of others.
The parasitesometimes it lives within its host. The central feature of this type of parasitism is that the host possesses certain antibodies, which are related to the parasite, usually composed of numerous micro-parasites.
On the other hand they may be ectoparasites those that do not get to be inside the other specimen, where the most typical case may be that of the eggs laid in a nest that is not their own. Host organisms usually develop defense mechanisms that limit the action of parasites, as in the case of plants that produce toxins seeking to deter fungi.
On the other hand, it is also common for a coevolution process to take place whereby the two species evolve seeking to fulfill their objective: the hosts seek to avoid being the target of the parasites, while the parasites evolve to continue infecting the hosts. .
Generally when agents become parasites, progressively lose physiological or metabolic functions. The extraction of molecules from the host makes it unnecessary to synthesize their own, as happens in viruses that are necessarily cases of parasitism. It is usual that parasitism is not visible to the naked eye, but from the moment in which the host suffers the damage caused by the parasite, usually malnutrition or infections.
A situation that occurs frequently is called hyperparasitism. This is what happens when a parasite lives off another parasite: the parasitic chains that are formed in these cases are those that generate biological competence and antibiosis, as well as being one of the bases for the biological control of diseases and pests Of crops.
Examples of parasitism
The following cases constitute parasitism, according to the definition seen:
- Fleas. Parasites that live on the skin of animals, cause viruses and hide in the fur.
- Termites Insects that parasitize trees, destroying them almost completely.
- Sacculin From the barnacle family. When he finds a crab, he injects the soft part of his own body there, rendering it sterile.
- Leeches They feed on the blood of other animals.
- Worms Common in animals and man, they feed by removing nutrients and invading other organs.
- Ticks External parasites that feed on the blood of the hosts, spreading diseases such as typhus.
- Emerald wasp of cockroaches. A parasite that punctures cockroaches with its stinger. It inoculates the eggs, and when the larvae hatch they feed on the non-vital tissues of the cockroach.
- Amoebas. Parasites of the intestines of animals and humans, causing malnutrition and disease.
- Guinea worm. It lives in microscopic fleas in river water. Drinking this kind of water allows the worm to enter the body, which forms blisters on the skin and produces a burning sensation.
- Rhodophytes. Red algae, often parasites of other rhinophytes. It injects its cell nuclei into host cells, producing sex cells of the parasitic genome.
- Sack of green bands. It grows inside the snail, which returns to its most daring behavior looking for places exposed to the view of all. The parasite lives in the digestive system of snail eaters, reproducing and releasing eggs in their feces, usually birds.
- Helminth. Long-bodied animal species that infect the organism of other species.
- Virus. Parasites that act on plants and animals, causing a multitude of diseases.
- Protozoa Simple animals made up of one cell, many are parasites of plants and animals. They produce diseases such as Chagas or trichomoniasis.
- Mites. Tiny parasites that inhabit human skin, feeding on secretions.