Introduction to Parasites

by Vincent Racaniello, PhD

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    00:01 Hello and welcome to parasites. I hope that after watching this lecture, you'll know the definition of a parasite.

    00:10 You will understand what is a zoonosis. It's not going to the zoo.

    00:16 I hope you'll be familiar with different types of protozoan and helminthic parasites.

    00:23 And I want you to have an overview of how parasitic infections are transmitted.

    00:29 Let's start by answering the question, what is a parasite? Parasite is an organism that takes metabolic advantage of another organism.

    00:41 So rather broad definition and as you might expect it encompases many different organisms including viruses, bacteria, fungi, protozoa, helminths and arthropods.

    01:02 Today we're gonna talk about protozoan and helminth parasites.

    01:07 There are parasites that are arthropods like tics.

    01:10 But we won't be talking about them further except there's possible vectors of transmission.

    01:20 Another important concept is that of a zoonosis or zoonoses which is the plural form.

    01:28 These are human infections that are acquired from animals. Can be any of the variety of different animals.

    01:36 Sometimes the organism causes disease in the animal, sometimes it doesn't.

    01:42 But the point is, it's acquired from animals. It's not a human to human transmitted infection.

    01:50 Many human parasite infections are zoonosis. They're caused by agents that infect non-human animals.

    01:59 Cause we're all animals. Humans and all those other animals on the slide are all animals but we distinguish us from others as non-human.

    02:06 An example, adults may carry the beef tapeworm in their intestine. Adults humans.

    02:14 This is acquired from cattle, not from another human. So that's a zoonosis.

    02:20 Many bacterial and viral infections are also zoonosis.

    02:24 When an infection is propagated solely among humans, that is no longer a zoonotic infection.

    About the Lecture

    The lecture Introduction to Parasites by Vincent Racaniello, PhD is from the course Microbiology: Introduction.

    Included Quiz Questions

    1. A disease that can be transmitted to humans from animals
    2. A disease with an arthropod vector
    3. A disease in which a parasite takes metabolic advantage of the host
    4. A disease that can only be transmitted from humans to other humans
    5. A disease that can be transmitted from humans to animals
    1. It is transmitted from human to human
    2. It is acquired from cattle
    3. It is a zoonotic disease
    4. It can be carried in the intestine of humans
    5. It is caused by an agent which infects non-human animals

    Author of lecture Introduction to Parasites

     Vincent Racaniello, PhD

    Vincent Racaniello, PhD

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