Parasites are a major cause of morbidity and mortality in the world today. Parasites are organisms that live in or on other organisms called hosts, obtaining sustenance and shelter from their hosts to carry out reproduction in host tissues and structures. Taxonomic diversity characterizes parasites, and they include a wide range of organisms ranging from single-celled protozoa to arthropods such as fleas. There are two general types of parasites: ectoparasites such as lice and endoparasites such as intestinal worms. The maladies provoked by parasites include malaria, elephantiasis, kala-azar, sleeping sickness, river blindness, dysentery, crabs, and guinea worm disease. These diseases, some commonplace and some exotic, were and are significant threats, especially for peoples whose social complexity did not include effective sanitation, hygiene, and germ theory awareness.
Past infection patterns were defined by human behaviors and environmental conditions....
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