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The Parasitology deals with the living and environmental conditions of parasites and their hosts . An important area of ​​application of parasitology is the development of efficient measures to combat parasites.

Parasitologists use the knowledge of various disciplines such as ecology , behavioral biology and molecular biology . Since many parasites cause diseases in humans and animals, parasitology is closely related to medicine . The founder of parasitology was Rudolf Leuckart . The German-speaking scientific society is the German Society for Parasitology (DGP).


Molecular parasitology studies the interactions between parasites and their hosts on a molecular level. Many living beings are completely or partially parasitic in their development, and parasitic processes also play a role in evolutionary biology ( endosymbiont theory ). "At least a fifth of all known types of organisms live as a 'guest partner' in body-contact societies."


Medical parasitology deals with the prophylaxis , diagnosis and therapy of parasitic diseases. In addition to ectoparasites such as fleas , lice and mites , these also include worm infections and infections by protozoa . For traditional reasons, research into parasitic bacteria and viruses still falls into the field of infectiology in medicine, with the sub-areas of bacteriology and virology .

Parasitology in Developing Countries

Parasitic diseases such as malaria and worm infections play a devastating role in developing countries - in contrast to industrialized countries. Every year hundreds of millions of people worldwide develop malaria and schistosomiasis alone . As a contribution to development cooperation, parasitologists research the living conditions of these organisms in order to derive effective and cost-effective control measures.

Practical examples of this research are the construction of suitable accommodation that is not inviting to malaria mosquitoes (e.g. with a fireplace in the house - the smoke drives away the mosquitoes), the effective use of pesticides and the training of villagers.

See also

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Klaus Odening : Parasitology - from the point of view of a research institution and in general. In: Milu, Scientific and cultural messages from the Tierpark Berlin. 7 (1990) 2, p. 85.


  • Richard Lucius, Brigitte Loos-Frank: Biology of Parasites. Springer textbook, 2008, ISBN 978-3-540-37707-8 .
  • Werner Frank: Parasitology: textbook for students of human and veterinary medicine, biology and agricultural biology. Stuttgart 1976, ISBN 3800134152 .
  • Gerhard Piekarski : Textbook of Parasitology with special consideration of the parasites of humans. Berlin / Göttingen / Heidelberg 1954.
  • Jean Théodoridès: History of Parasitology. In: Illustrated History of Medicine. German adaptation by Richard Toellner et al., Special edition Salzburg 1986, Volume V, pp. 2840–2867.

Web links

Wiktionary: Parasitology  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Commons : Parasitology  - collection of images, videos and audio files