Without a doubt, one of the greatest threats to which human beings and health are exposed every day are parasites which, in addition to completely depending on another species to survive and feed, cause significant damage during this process. in the health of its guests. The parasitology is a branch of microbiology which is responsible for studying this type of parasites and analyzes and evaluates possible solutions in order to avoid risks and further damage.


What is parasitology?

Parasitology is a science that is dedicated to studying the different species that depend on others in order to survive and that cause great damage to the species on which they depend, whether they are plants or animals .

  • Key concepts of parasitology
  • Applications
  • Importance of parasitology
  • Examples
  • Books

Key concepts of parasitology

Some of the key concepts that are used in the field of parasitology are explained below.

  • Parasitism : it is the type of relationship that is established either temporarily or permanently between the parasite and the agent that hosts it, which is responsible for giving it life through its own substances.
  • Parasite : living organism that completely depends on another to be able to live, causing in this process a series of damages to the organism.
  • Tenancy : refers to the process that occurs when a living being is housed in another but without causing any type of damage.
  • Symbiosis : it is also known by the name of mutualism and it is a type of association that occurs between two species that unite in order to obtain a mutual benefit in order to survive.
  • Commensalism : this process occurs when two species that are completely different manage to associate to obtain benefits.
  • Predatism : it is the relationship that exists between two species in which the predator lives on the prey, which it kills slowly until it is completely ingested.


Parasitology is a branch of biology and is also part of ecology so it can be used in a wide variety of branches such as medicine , pharmacy and veterinary medicine . It is applied in the investigation of parasites that can cause diseases in plants and animals in order to be able to analyze , diagnose and later establish an optimal treatment to be able to cure them and eradicate them completely. For this reason, parasitology can also be applied in the field of epidemiology. in order to know and explain the distribution of parasites and the frequency with which they can occur.

Importance of parasitology

To understand the great importance of parasitology, we must remember that on our planet there are a large number of parasites capable of producing different types of diseases, some of them even fatal. It is a science that is fundamental in the process of being able to understand other areas of biology and that also has the ability to study parasites that can cause serious diseases, in order to identify them and later choose the appropriate treatments that should be provided.

In the field of veterinary medicine and even agriculture , parasitology plays a fundamental role because it is thanks to it that different diagnoses and treatments can be counted on to avoid and control pests that can even be harmful to humans.


There are many examples that can be mentioned with regard to parasitology. Among the best known are the following:

  • Fleas , which are parasites that inhabit the skin of domestic and non-domestic animals and that can cause different types of allergies and diseases.
  • Leeches , small parasitic animals that live by feeding on the blood of other animals.
  • Termites or moths that inhabit the wood of houses and trees and that are also capable of destroying the materials completely.
  • The worms , very common to find in both animals and humans, feed on the nutrients of their hosts and can invade important organs of the body.
  • Ticks , one of the most difficult parasites to eliminate and that also feed on the blood of their hosts, causing at the same time a series of diseases that even, in domestic animals, can cause death.
  • Amoebas that are in many places difficult to eradicate and that inhabit the human body and that of animals causing problems of malnutrition and disease.


Some important books that can be read and studied to expand knowledge in the area of ​​parasitology are the following:

  • Marco Antonio Becerril Medical Parasitology
  • Dwight D. Bowman’s Veterinary Parasitology
  • Lawrence Ash / Thomas Orihel Atlas of Human Parasitology
  • Human Parasitology for Biochemists: Intestinal Parasites by Leonora Kozubsky and María Elena Costas

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