Parasites are highly specialized organisms. Mostly live from body fluids of other organisms or from food of other organisms. They are also called "hosts" and the infested organisms are thereby damaged by the parasite, but usually remain alive. In rare cases, the parasites can also cause death of the host. Some parasites transmit pathogens to humans that can cause human diseases. “Infections” lead to the development of the parasitic disease at the first contact, “infestations” only after accumulation of many individuals parasites due to strong or long exposure. Worm infections tend to go hand in hand with the latter. Many parasites transmit other parasites, then the former are reckoned as “vectors”. Infectious diseases transmitted from an animal to a human or from a human to an animal are called “zoonoses”.
Important examples of parasitic diseases are malaria, toxoplasmosis but then also amoebas and worm infections.
We can advise you on the subject in the our ambulance.
The Tropical Medicine's specialist is called Dr. Bernhard Beck (www.tropdoc.ch)
For diagnostic questions please contact the Institute of Parasitology, University of Zurich