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FAQ Policy. About this book American trypanosomiasis, or Chagas disease, is caused by the protozoan parasite, Trypanosoma cruzi. Show all. Signaling in Trypanosoma cruzi Pages Docampo, R.

A et al. Show next xx. Read this book on SpringerLink. Recommended for you.

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List of parasites of humans

In Nigeria, some members of these classes of parasites are also common. These include: lyme boreliosis, cryptosporidiosis, malaria and yellow fever. Emerging and re-emerging helminth parasites are numerous and include Trichinella spp, Echinococcus spp, Onchocerca spp, Loa loa, schistosomosis, Aelirostrongylus abstrusus, Angiostrongylus vasorum, Angiostrongylus cantonensis, Baylisascaris cantonensis, Crenosoma vulpis, Dirofilaria immitis, Eucoleus aerophilis Capillaria aerophila , Spirometra spp, Diphillobothrium spp, Gnathostoma spp, Opisthochis spp, Clonorchis sivensis, Umingmakstrongylus pallikuukensis, Protostrongylus stilesi, Teladosagia borearcticus, Setaria tundra, Taenia spp, and Cyclospora cayetanensis.

This class of parasites is common and includes Erhlichiosis , Plasmodium knowlesi, Trypanosoma cruzi, Cryptosporidium parvuum, Giardia, Toxoplasma gondii, Leishmania, Sarcocystis, coccidiosis, tick toxicosis tick paralysis , Lyme borreliosis Lyme disease and malaria.


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Ecological disturbances have been said to contribute immensely to the emergence and proliferation of malaria and zoonotic parasitic diseases including leishmaniasis, cryptosporidiosis, giardisis, trypanosomiasis, filariasis, onchocerciasis and loaisis [ 5 ]. It is has been established that each environmental change, whether occurring as a natural phenomenon or through human intervention, changes the ecological balance [ 5 ]. The most important food-borne parasites include the waterborne parasites transmitted by contaminated food such as Cyclosppora cayetanensis, Cryptosporidium, and Giardia [ 9 ].


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Fasciolosis has become highly prevalent and exhibited by the increased numbers of Fasciola infections from less than 3 thousand to 17 million in the last decades [ 9 ]. Fasciolosis of humans and pigs are waterborne infections [ 9 ]. Faecal transmitted parasites are those transmitted through faecal or food contamination and include Toxoplasma gondii , and the emerging Trypanosoma cruzi and Echinococcus spp [ 9 ].

Malaria in humans is a disease caused by any one of four species of microscopic protozoan parasites in the genus Plasmodium and transmitted by mosquitoes in the genus Anopheles. Malaria was once common in the U. Malaria has bounced back in the U. Sarcoptes scabei, tick toxicosis, tick paralysis and Lyme borreliosis formerly known as Lyme disease , Chikungunya fever, dengue fever, yellow fever and plaque.

Lyme disease is caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi which is transmitted between mammals by the black-legged tick, Ixodes scapularis. The most common early indication of Lyme disease in humans is a rash, followed by fever, flu-like symptoms, chills, headache and fatigue. Most cases of Lyme disease can be successfully treated with antibiotics [ 15 , 16 ]. Chikungunya fever is transmitted by aedes mosquito in man [ 3 ]. Felissa et al. It would not be too abstract to describe the developmental process as a sort of positive feedback mechanism, for example, globalisation has created global economic and social opportunities but at the same time it has led to emergence of diseases in some areas since humans, animals and goods are transported to target markets some times together with the pathogens they may be harbouring, thereby introducing such disease agents to the new destinations [ 15 ].

Greater interconnectivity means some disease agents initially localised in small areas will now be spread to new areas where they will be said to emerge from there. Some major causes of emergence and re-emergence of diseases have been listed [ 15 ] and these together with others have been outlined in section 3. There is a global ongoing climate change and some of its consequences such as the alteration in the habitats of parasites and other pathogens are obvious. The alteration in habitats has in turn resulted in the redistribution of infections.

The implication is that there is a spread of parasites and other pathogens to areas which were initially too cold to harbour such organisms for instance. The infectious agents that have moved to occupy such new habitats are said to have emerged in such places and thus are termed emergent pathogens. By implication, the diseases usually caused by those pathogens will become common in hosts in the locations which were initially free or less affected [ 18 ].

Climate change which is itself an alteration in the climate could be a warming or a cooling effect.

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A warmer climate is more significant in this case as small increments in temperature have been shown to result in modifications of both the biotic and abiotic factors which in turn influence the activities of parasite vectors, parasites and their hosts in the environment. Generally, global warming enhances the development, multiplication and spread of many parasitic infections. Rising temperatures coupled with high stocking densities are a disadvantage to the hosts while an advantage to the parasites. For example, the rapidly growing numbers of muskox have led to high population densities which in turn has resulted in substantial environmental contamination with eggs and larvae of T.

Temperature can also influence the reproduction and survival of an infectious agent within the vector, thereby further influencing disease transmission in areas where the vector is already present. The protozoan disease known as malaria has increased tremendously in recent time and this increase is more serious in Africa due to insensitivity of the Plasmodium species to many anti-malarial drugs, the so-called drug resistant malaria.

However, the disease is also being reported at cold placessuch as Kenyan plateaus. One of the most obvious causes apart from emergence of drug resistant species and movement of infected hosts to the areas is the rising temperatures. Rising temperatures are likely to encourage malaria to spread to many more locations which were initially free from the infection and increase the incidence of the infections in areas where it was initially low. The seasonal transmission and distribution of many diseases that are transmitted by mosquitoes dengue, yellow fever , sandflies leishmaniasis , and ticks Lyme disease, tick-borne encephalitis which are usually more common in the hotter season may be made to spread to other seasons.

It is feared that the rate of emerging infections could become very high in the temperate world since the warming climate will qualify the environment to become a habitat for pathogens which initially could not proliferate there [ 26 ]. Another potential factor that greatly enhances the emergence of new pathogens is the proliferation of new strains of the pathogens. Different strains of parasites behave differently including their sensitivity to drugs and this is why the drug resistant strains of Plasmodium has led to the spread and increase prevalence of malaria.

Numerous parasites have developed different strains with various potentials including those that can make them survive in harsh environments and rapid proliferation and down regulation of host immune responses. Mass movement of people from their original locations and regrouping in new locations such as refugee camps as seen during wars and natural disasters like floods and droughts are very common now.

This usually leads to over population in such locations and the consequence is always to create favourable conditions for new diseases to occur. Malnutrition, poor sanitation and breakdown in health have resulted to high rates of infections and diseases initially not common in some areas. When people migrate they do so with whatever pathogens they harbour and usually some disease agents spread from a few individuals to a multitude. Therefore, mass movements of people are extremely effective in carrying diseases to new areas. They also greatly increase the exposure of people to "new" diseases for which they have little or no resistance.

Zoonotic Diseases

Translocation of animals is necessary act because sometimes animals may need to be relocated to other areas for a number of reasons including feeding as seen in nomadism and transhumans, during droughts, marketing for slaughter and breeding and sought to safe grounds during war. Such movements although necessary are usually accompanied with some cost. No wonder, such movements have been blamed by some researchers to constitute a cause of emerging infections [ 27 - 31 ].

Fevre et al. For example, during drought and civil unrest as seen during wars cattle migrants to new save areas often introduce the parasites they harbour especially through the faeces of infected animals with gastrointestinal nematodes for example. In areas where the parasites were not found or were not common, such could then be termed emerging or re-emerging parasites to the new environment. Furthermore, the animals during grazing often share common pastures with other herds with a great possibility of each herd catching infections from each other.

Commerce is much simplified these days due to the enhancement in various transport means.

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This has resulted in an increased transportation of animals, animal products and foodstuffs to areas where there is a huge demand for them. The movement of goods and humans serves as a driver for transporting various pathogens to the new regions, especially where boarder checks and screening of the good were not properly monitored. The transporters of the goods themselves and others also serve as a medium for transporting the pathogens from one location to the other.

Methods of processing various foods vary from region to region and with culture and the habits of the people concerned. For example trichinosis although can be prevented by meat inspection, however, the best way of avoiding infections of such parasites is by proper cooking. Likewise, the incidence of cysticercosis is likely to be high among pork and beef consuming populations especially where poor sanitation, poor meat inspection and improper pork cooking are common because the chances of eating pork and beef with viable Cysticercus cellulosae and C.

Hydatidosis will also be more common among sheep rearing populations. This can facilitate the introduction and spread of disease. For example, infected animals when sold to distant places can likely introduce such diseases to the new areas especially if the climatic factors also are favourable for the infections to spread.

This reiterates the need for quarantine services at strategic places such as boarders, sea and airports to help ascertain the status of animals before importing to different farms, different regions and to different countries. Any environmental change, whether occurring as a natural phenomenon or consequent upon human manipulation would change the ecological balance, and context within which vectors and their parasites breed, develop, and transmit disease.

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The mix of vectors, their biodiversity, abundance, vector competence and human biting behaviour can be affected by changes occurring as a result of disruption of ecological stability. Deforestation and the resulting changes in land use, human settlement, commercial development, construction of roads, water control systems dams, canals, irrigation systems, reservoirs , and climate have been accompanied by global increases in morbidity and mortality from a number of emergent parasitic diseases [ 5 ].