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List of parasites (human)

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Title: List of parasites (human)  
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Subject: Zoonosis, Parasitism, Leishmania, Trichuris trichiura, Strongyloides stercoralis, Trichinosis, Giardia, Copepod, Giardia lamblia, Head louse
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List of parasites (human)

Main article: Human parasites


Protozoan organisms

Common name of organism or disease Latin name (sorted) Body parts affected Diagnostic specimen Prevalence Source/ Transmission (Reservoir/ Vector)
Granulomatous amoebic encephalitis (eye infection) Acanthamoeba eye, brain culture worldwide contact lenses cleaned with tap water
Granulomatous amoebic encephalitis (skin infection) Balamuthia mandrillaris brain, skin culture worldwide via respiratory tract or skin lesion
Babesiosis Babesia B. divergens, B. bigemina, B. equi, B. microfti, B. duncani red blood cells Giemsa-stained thin blood smear New York, Martha's Vineyard, Nantucket (different species have worldwide distribution) tick bites, e.g. Ixodes scapularis
Balantidiasis Balantidium coli intestinal mucosa, may become invasive in some patients stool (diarrhea=ciliated trophozoite; solid stool=large cyst with horseshoe shaped nucleus) ingestion of cyst, zoonotic infection acquired from pigs (feces)
Blastocystosis Blastocystis intestinal direct microscopy of stool (PCR, anti body) 2 - 20% of population[1] eating food contaminated with feces from an infected human or animal
Coccidia, cryptosporidiosis Cryptosporidium intestines stool widespread ingestion of oocyst (sporulated), some species are zoonotic (e.g. bovine fecal contamination)
Dientamoebiasis Dientamoeba fragilis intestines stool up to 10% in industrialized countries ingesting water or food contaminated with feces
Amoebiasis Entamoeba histolytica Intestines (mainly Large, can go to extraintestinal sites) stool (fresh diarrheic stools have amoeba, solid stool has cyst) areas with poor sanitation, high population density and tropical regions fecal-oral transmission of cyst, not amoeba
Giardiasis Giardia lamblia lumen of the small intestine stool widespread ingestion of cysts in fecal contaminated water or food, can be zoonotic (deer, beavers)
Isosporiasis Isospora belli epithelial cells of small intestines stool worldwide - less common than Toxoplasma or Cryptosporidium fecal oral route - ingestion of sporulated oocyst
Leishmaniasis Leishmania cutaneous, mucocutaneous, or visceral visual identification of lesion or microscopic stain with Leishman's or Giemsa's stain Visceral leishmaniasis- Worldwide; Cutaneous leishmaniasis - Old World; Mucocutaneous leishmaniasis - New World Phlebotomus Lutzomyia- bite of several species of phlebotomine sandflies
Primary amoebic meningoencephalitis (PAM)[2][3] Naegleria fowleri brain culture rare but deadly Nasal insufflation of contaminated warm fresh water, poorly chlorinated swimming pools, hot springs, soil
Malaria Plasmodium falciparum (80% of cases), Plasmodium vivax, Plasmodium ovale, Plasmodium malariae, Plasmodium knowlesi red blood cells, liver Blood film tropical - 250 million cases/year Anopheles mosquito, bites at night
Rhinosporidiosis Rhinosporidium seeberi nose, nasopharynx biopsy India and Sri Lanka nasal mucosa came into contact with infected material through bathing in common ponds
Sarcocystosis Sarcocystis bovihominis,Sarcocystis suihominis intestine, muscle muscle biopsy widespread ingestion of uncooked/undercooked beef/pork with Sarcocystis sarcocysts
Toxoplasmosis - Parasitic pneumonia Toxoplasma gondii eyes, brain, heart, liver blood and PCR widespread - up to one third of all humans ingestion of uncooked/undercooked pork/lamb/goat with Toxoplasma bradyzoites, ingestion of raw milk with Toxoplasma tachyzoites, ingestion of contaminated water food or soil with oocysts in cat feces that is more than one day old
Trichomoniasis Trichomonas vaginalis female urogenital tract (males asymptomatic) microscopic examination of genital swab 7.4 million Americans sexually transmitted infection - only trophozoite form (no cyst)
Sleeping sickness Trypanosoma brucei blood lymph and central nervous systems microscopic examination of chancre fluid, lymph node aspirates, blood, bone marrow 50,000 to 70,000 people tsetse fly, day biting fly of the genus Glossina
Chagas disease Trypanosoma cruzi colon, esophagus, heart, nerves, muscle and blood Giemsa stain - blood Mexico, Central America, South America - 16-18 million Triatoma/Reduviidae - "Kissing bug" Insect Vector, feeds at night

Helminths organisms (worms)


Common name of organism or disease Latin name (sorted) Body parts affected Diagnostic specimen Prevalence Transmission/Vector
Tapeworm - Tapeworm infection Cestoda, Taenia multiceps intestine stool rare
Diphyllobothriasis - tapeworm Diphyllobothrium latum intestines, blood stool (microscope) Europe, Japan, Uganda, Peru, Chile ingestion of raw fresh water fish
Echinococcosis - tapeworm Echinococcus granulosus, Echinococcus multilocularis, E. vogeli, E. oligarthrus liver, lungs, kidney, spleen imaging of hydatid cysts in the liver, lungs, kidney and spleen Mediterranean countries as intermediate host, ingestion of material contaminated by feces from a carnivore; as definite host, ingestion of uncooked meat (offal) from a herbivore
Hymenolepiasis[4] Hymenolepis nana, Hymenolepis diminuta ingestion of material contaminated by flour beetles, meal worms, cockroaches
Beef tapeworm Taenia saginata Intestines stool worldwide distribution ingestion of undercooked beef
Cysticercosis-Pork tapeworm Taenia solium Brain, muscle stool, blood Asia, Africa, South America, Southern Europe, North America. ingestion of undercooked pork
Bertielliasis Bertiella mucronata, Bertiella studeri Intestines Stool Rare Contact with non human primates
Sparganosis Spirometra erinaceieuropaei ingestion of material contaminated with infected dog or cat faeces (humans: dead-end host)


Common name of organism or disease Latin name (sorted) Body parts affected Diagnostic specimen Prevalence Transmission/Vector
Clonorchiasis Clonorchis sinensis; Clonorchis viverrini
Lancet liver fluke Dicrocoelium dendriticum gall bladder rare ingestion of ants
Liver fluke - Fasciolosis[5] Fasciola hepatica, Fasciola gigantica liver, gall bladder stool Fasciola hepatica in Europe, Africa, Australia, the Americas and Oceania; Fasciola gigantica only in Africa and Asia, 2.4 million people infected by both species freshwater snails
Fasciolopsiasis - intestinal fluke[6] Fasciolopsis buski intestines stool or vomitus (microscope) East Asia - 10 million people ingestion of infested water plants or water (intermediate host:amphibic snails)
Gnathostomiasis[7] Gnathostoma spinigerum, Gnathostoma hispidum subcutaneous tissues (under the skin) physical examination rare - Southeast Asia ingestion of raw or undercooked meat (e.g., freshwater fish, chicken, snails, frogs, pigs) or contaminated water
Metagonimiasis - intestinal fluke Metagonimus yokogawai stool Siberia, Manchuria, Balkan states, Israel, Spain ingestion of undercooked or salted fish
Chinese Liver Fluke Opisthorchis viverrini, Opisthorchis felineus, Clonorchis sinensis bile duct 1.5 million people in Russia consuming infected raw, slightly salted or frozen fish
Paragonimiasis, Lung Fluke Paragonimus westermani; Paragonimus africanus; Paragonimus caliensis; Paragonimus kellicotti; Paragonimus skrjabini; Paragonimus uterobilateralis lungs sputum, feces East Asia ingestion of raw or undercooked freshwater crabs crayfishes or other crustaceans
Schistosomiasis - bilharzia, bilharziosis or snail fever (all types) Schistosoma sp. Africa, Caribbean, eastern South America, east Asia, Middle East - 200 million people skin exposure to water contaminated with infected fresh water snails
intestinal schistosomiasis Schistosoma mansoni intestine, liver, spleen, lungs, skin stool Africa, Caribbean, South America, Asia, Middle East - 83 million people skin exposure to water contaminated with infected Biomphalaria fresh water snails
urinary schistosomiasis Schistosoma haematobium kidney, bladder, ureters, lungs, skin urine Africa, Middle East skin exposure to water contaminated with infected Bulinus sp. snails
Schistosomiasis by Schistosoma japonicum Schistosoma japonicum intestine, liver, spleen, lungs, skin stool China, East Asia, Philippines skin exposure to water contaminated with infected Oncomelania sp. snails
Asian intestinal schistosomiasis Schistosoma mekongi - South East Asia skin exposure to water contaminated with infected Neotricula aperta - fresh water snails
Echinostoma echinatum small intestine Far East ingestion of raw fish, mollusks, snails
Swimmer's itch Trichobilharzia regenti, Schistosomatidae skin exposure to contaminated water (snails and vertebrates)


Common name of organism or disease Latin name (sorted) Body parts affected Diagnostic specimen Prevalence Transmission/Vector
Ancylostomiasis/Hookworm Ancylostoma duodenale, Necator americanus lungs, small intestine, blood stool common in tropical, warm, moist climates penetration of skin by L3 larva
Angiostrongyliasis Angiostrongylus costaricensis intestine stool ingestion of infected faeces or infected slugs
Anisakiasis[8] Anisakis allergic reaction biopsy incidental host ingestion of raw fish, squid, cuttlefish, octopus
Roundworm - Parasitic pneumonia Ascaris sp. Ascaris lumbricoides Intestines, liver, appendix, pancreas, lungs, Löffler's syndrome stool common in tropical and subtropical regions
Roundworm - Baylisascariasis Baylisascaris procyonis Intestines, liver, lungs, brain rare: North America stool from raccoons
Roundworm-lymphatic filariasis Brugia malayi, Brugia timori lymph nodes blood samples tropical regions of Asia Arthropods
Dioctophyme renalis infection Dioctophyme renale kidneys (typically the right) Urine Rare Ingestion of undercooked or raw freshwater fish
Guinea worm - Dracunculiasis Dracunculus medinensis subcutaneous tissues, muscle skin blister/ulcer South Sudan (eradication ongoing)
Pinworm - Enterobiasis Enterobius vermicularis, Enterobius gregorii intestines, anus stool; tape test around anus widespread; temperate regions
Halicephalobiasis Halicephalobus gingivalis brain soil contaminated wounds
Loa loa filariasis, Calabar swellings Loa loa filaria Connective tissue, lungs, eye blood (Giemsa, haematoxylin, eosin stain) rain forest of West Africa - 12-13 million people Tabanidae - horse fly, bites in the day
Mansonelliasis, Filariasis Mansonella streptocerca subcutaneous layer of skin insect
River blindness, Onchocerciasis Onchocerca volvulus skin, eye, tissue bloodless skin snip Africa, Yemen, Central and South America near cool, fast flowing rivers Simulium/Black fly, bite during the day
Strongyloidiasis - Parasitic pneumonia Strongyloides stercoralis Intestines, lungs, skin (Larva currens) stool, blood skin penetration
Thelaziasis Thelazia californiensis, Thelazia callipaeda Eyes ocular examination Asia, Europe Amiota (Phortica) variegata, Phortica okadai
Toxocariasis Toxocara canis, Toxocara cati liver, brain, eyes (Toxocara canis - Visceral larva migrans, Ocular larva migrans) blood, ocular examination worldwide distribution pica, unwashed food contamined with Toxocara eggs, undercooked livers of chicken
Trichinosis Trichinella spiralis, Trichinella britovi, Trichinella nelsoni, Trichinella nativa muscle, periorbital region, small intestine blood more common in developing countries due to improved feeding practices in developed countries. ingestion of undercooked pork
Whipworm Trichuris trichiura, Trichuris vulpis large intestine, anus stool (eggs) common worldwide accidental ingestion of eggs in dry goods such as beans, rice, and various grains or soil contaminated with human feces
ElephantiasisLymphatic filariasis Wuchereria bancrofti lymphatic system thick blood smears stained with hematoxylin. Tropical and subtropical mosquito, bites at night

Other organisms

Common name of organism or disease Latin name (sorted) Body parts affected Diagnostic specimen Prevalence Transmission/Vector
Acanthocephaliasis Archiacanthocephala, Moniliformis moniliformis Gastrointestinal tract, peritoneum, eye Faeces, parasite itself worldwide ingestion of intermediate hosts
Halzoun Syndrome Linguatula serrata nasopharynx physical examination Mid East ingestion of raw or undercooked lymph nodes (e.g., meat from infected camels and buffalos)
Myiasis Oestroidea, Calliphoridae, Sarcophagidae dead or living tissue
Chigoe flea Tunga penetrans Subcutaneous tissue physical examination Central and South America
Human Botfly Dermatobia hominis Subcutaneous tissue physical examination Central and South America Mosquitoes and biting flies


Common name of organism or disease Latin name (sorted) Body parts affected Diagnostic specimen Prevalence Transmission/Vector
Bedbug Cimicidae Cimex lectularius skin visual Worldwide sharing of clothing and bedding
Head louse - Pediculosis Pediculus humanus hair follicles visual identification under magnification Common worldwide head-to-head contact
Body louse - Pediculosis Pediculus humanus corporis visual identification under magnification (Vagabond's disease) Worldwide skin-to-skin contact such as sexual activity and via sharing clothing or bedding
Crab louse - Pediculosis Pthirus pubis pubic area, eyelashes visual identification under magnification Worldwide skin-to-skin contact such as sexual activity and via sharing clothing or bedding
Demodex - Demodicosis Demodex folliculorum/brevis/canis eyebrow, eyelashes Microscopy of eyelash or eyebrow hair follicle Pandemic, worldwide prolonged skin-to-skin contact
Scabies Sarcoptes scabiei skin microscopy of surface scrapings Worldwide skin-to-skin contact such as sexual activity and via sharing clothing or bedding
Screwworm, Cochliomyia Cochliomyia hominivorax skin and wounds visual North America (eradicated), Central America, North Africa direct contact with fly
Flea, Siphonaptera Pulex irritans skin visual identification under magnification Worldwide environment

See also


External links

  • A List of Human Intestinal Parasites accessed May 2008
de:Parasiten des Menschen
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