|A parasite is an organism that survives in or on another species, usually at the expense of its host|
A parasite is a plant or an animal that lives on, or with, or inside a larger species extracting nutrients. In some cases, the parasite can harm the host and in other situations, it is completely harmless. There are three types of parasites namely ectoparasites, endoparasites and mesoparasites.
Ectoparasites include parasites that survive outside the host and induce itching and rashes in that area. Endoparasites include parasites that survive inside the body of the host, usually in the bloodstreams, muscles, digestive system and so on. Mesoparasites include parasites that enter the host through an opening of the body and embed themselves partially in the host.
Parasitic infections can be caused by a wide variety of organisms – from protozoa, and helminths to arthropods. For instance, giardia is an intestinal infection caused by the giardia parasite.
The examples of endoparasites are roundworms and hookworms. Whereas, fleas are an example of ectoparasites.
- Parasites And Symbiosis – Definition, Types, Examples
- What Is Parasitism? – Definition, Types and Examples of Parasitism
- Giardia life cycle
Frequently Asked Questions on Parasite Definition
A parasite is an organism that survives in or on another species, usually at the expense of its host.
Further Reading: Infectious Diseases: Types, Causes, Symptoms And Preventions
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