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People, Parasites, and PlowsharesLearning From Our Body's Most Terrifying Invaders$
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Dickson Despommier

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780231161947

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231161947.001.0001

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Houdini’s Nefarious Cousins

Houdini’s Nefarious Cousins

The Trypanosomes, the Schistosomes, and the Lymphatic Filariae

(p.43) 3 Houdini’s Nefarious Cousins
People, Parasites, and Plowshares

Dickson D. Despommier

William C. Campbell

Columbia University Press

This chapter describes the transmission and proliferation of trypanosomes, the schistosomes, and the lymphatic filariae in the body of their hosts. Trypanosomes are single-celled organisms (protozoans) that move by using a whiplike structure called a flagellum. The majority of trypanosome species are transmitted to their hosts via the bite of infected insects. Some trypanosomes spend their entire lives swimming about in their host's bloodstream, while some lives inside the host's cells. Schistosomes are parasitic flatworms responsible for a highly significant group of infections in humans, termed schistosomiasis. These parasites that live in the fresh water aquatic penetrates the skin using their enzymes. The same with trypanosomes, lymphatic filarial parasites are transmitted by insect bites. The parasites then find their way into the lymphatic drainage system and reach a lymph node, eventually causing elephantiasis.

Keywords:   trypanosomes, schistosomes, lymphatic filariae, schistosomiasis, elephantiasis, parasitic infection

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