Parasites and Parasitism

Parasitism refers to the acquisition of resources by means of a generally considerably larger organism of a different kind. In most cases, body fluid serves as food for this organism. The organism, also known as the host, is harmed by the parasite, but remains generally alive.

Parasites are highly specialized creatures. Their habitat is usually limited to a few host species. It is not uncommon to find only one Wirtsart.
In general, a parasite is strongly dependent on its host. Parasitization can be related to various host factors, such as body substance, food supply, oxygen demand, Osmotik, ph ratios or heat balance.
Parasitism is omnipresent, so that practically all living beings have to deal with it. It is not uncommon to find dozens of different parasites on or in a single organism.

Depending on the extent of the parasitic attack, the burden on the host is different. Even if parasitic infestation does not harm the host life-threatening, it always has a negative effect on its growth, well-being, susceptibility, reproduction or lifespan.

Due to the very different adaptation, size and way of life of different parasites and the different forms of interaction between the parasite and the host, parasites are divided according to certain criteria as follows:

- Micro and macro parasites
- Ecto and Endoparasites
- Optional and obligatory parasites
- Temporary and stationary parasites
- Periodic and permanent parasites
- Host specificity
- Change of host
- Brood parasitism
- Kleptoparasitismus
- Parasitism in plants
- Pararsitismus in bacteria

(Source: Wikipedia-parasitism)


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