Damian, Raymond T. Department of Zoology, Franklin College of Arts and Sciences, University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia.
Last reviewed:August 2019
- Parasite–host relationships
- Parasite–parasite relationships
- Physiologic interactions
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
The scientific study of parasites and of parasitism. Parasitism is a type of symbiosis and is defined as an intimate association between an organism (parasite) and another, larger species of organism (host) upon which the parasite is metabolically dependent. Implicit in this definition is the concept that the host is harmed, while the parasite benefits from the association. Since well-adapted parasites may be nonpathogenic, parasitism merges into another type of symbiosis in which both partners benefit, that is, mutualism. Parasitism also blends with another ecological relationship, predation. For example, ichneumon fly larvae, which ultimately kill their caterpillar hosts by internal consumption, are indeed predators but are called parasitoids, reflecting the similarity of their life-style to true parasitism. By the definition, above, most species of organisms may properly be called parasites. Although technically parasites, pathogenic bacteria and viruses, fungal, and insect parasites of plants are traditionally outside the field of parasitology.
The content above is only an excerpt.
for your institution. Subscribe
To learn more about subscribing to AccessScience, or to request a no-risk trial of this award-winning scientific reference for your institution, fill in your information and a member of our Sales Team will contact you as soon as possible.
to your librarian. Recommend
Let your librarian know about the award-winning gateway to the most trustworthy and accurate scientific information.
AccessScience provides the most accurate and trustworthy scientific information available.
Recognized as an award-winning gateway to scientific knowledge, AccessScience is an amazing online resource that contains high-quality reference material written specifically for students. Contributors include more than 9000 highly qualified scientists and 43 Nobel Prize winners.
MORE THAN 8700 articles covering all major scientific disciplines and encompassing the McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science & Technology and McGraw-Hill Yearbook of Science & Technology
115,000-PLUS definitions from the McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms
3000 biographies of notable scientific figures
MORE THAN 19,000 downloadable images and animations illustrating key topics
ENGAGING VIDEOS highlighting the life and work of award-winning scientists
SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER STUDY and additional readings to guide students to deeper understanding and research
LINKS TO CITABLE LITERATURE help students expand their knowledge using primary sources of information