Protozoa | Smallest Parasites But Deadly

Parasites come in all shapes and sizes. Tapeworms and Ascaris are some of the largest known human intestinal parasites and at the opposite end of the scale, are some of the smallest parasites of all called protozoa.

Protozoa are in fact some of the smallest animals in the animal kingdom. Most of them can only be seen using a microscope. The word "Protozoa" comes from the Greek "protos" meaning "first" and "zoa" meaning "animals". So despite being small, they can still inflict a lot of damage on their hosts (the human body).

Protozoa breathe, move and reproduce by splitting into two. They often live in water or damp conditions and some of the most deadly protozoa are transmitted by flies and mosquitoes.

Amoebic Dystentry is an infection of the intestine resulting in fever, pain and severe diarrhea often accompanied by the passage of blood and mucus.

Amoeba are single-celled animals and some of them are parasitic and cause disease. They are usually found in water or food and cause a range of intestinal upsets that range in severity.
 
Another example of a parasitic infection that is transmitted through an agent is African Sleeping Sickness. This is carried by the protozoa called African trypanosomiasis - and is spread through the tsetse fly via the blood stream, spinal fluid and lymph. Fever, pain and sickness develops and if not treated, this parasite can cause death to its hosts.

Despite being the smallest of the parasites that infect man, protozoa are also some of the deadliest.

Adapted from Article - Reference:Shirley Emmons BSc. (Hons) - Independent Natural and Alternative Health Researcher

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