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Parasitosis is a disease caused by parasites. Parasite is a term derived from Greek and means 'eating at the table of another'. It hits the nail on the head, because in modern understanding every parasite lives at the expense of its host. Some people like the human body. What are the symptoms of parasitosis and how is it treated?

Symptoms of parasitosis , a disease caused by parasites, may appear immediately after contact with the parasite or after an incubation period, which sometimes lasts even several months.Parasitosismay heal itself, become chronic (often without symptoms) or, in extreme cases, lead to the death of the host. Most parasitic diseases do not have characteristic diagnostic features, therefore their diagnosis is sometimes difficult.

Parasitosis: pathways of infection

Parasites can be infected from your beloved quadruped, but also from another person. They penetrate the human body through the digestive tract, respiratory tract (inhalation, inhalation), sexually, through the damaged mucosa, skin, through the conjunctiva and the cornea. The natural openings, i.e. the mouth, nose, urethra, vagina and anus are also the gateways of invasion. Different parasites affect the host's organism differently. Their harmful influence may be mechanical damage, toxic effects or overeating the host from food.

Parasitosis: main culprits

Some parasites can wreak havoc in various areas of our body.

  • Armed tapeworm - enters the body after eating infected, undercooked or raw pork. Signs of infection may include diarrhea, nausea, loss of appetite, or stomach pain. However, infection is usually asymptomatic.
  • Unarmed tapeworm - the cause of infection may be eating raw or undercooked (undercooked) beef with encapsulated tapeworm larvae. The symptom is abdominal pain, worsening when we are hungry, vomiting, weight loss, nausea.
  • Human Ascaris - the source of infection may be soil, water. For example, by drinking unboiled water, we can introduce the larvae of the parasite into the body. The same happens when we eat unwashedraw vegetables and fruits. Infection with roundworm is manifested by dizziness, increased nervous excitability, skin changes, diarrhea or constipation.
  • Owsik - penetrates through the alimentary or inhalation route. Food can be contaminated, but also furniture, bedding and the air in the apartment. The symptoms of the infection are itching of the anus and red skin around it, lack of appetite, weakness, lack of concentration, headaches and stomach aches.
  • Spiral hair - gets into our orgasm with food. The source of infection is meat or its products that contained the larvae of the parasite and were not properly heat treated prior to consumption. The symptom is a flu-like condition, stomach aches, headaches and even heart aches.

Everything you need to know about gastrointestinal parasites

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Parasitosis: effects of parasites

Large parasites in relation to the habitat may cause small intestine obstruction. Equipped with a sticking apparatus, they can damage the host's tissues. And so the lamblia clinging disc, furrows of the broad mite, suckers and hooks of the armed tapeworm can cause changes in the small intestine, strongly muscled suckers of the flukes leave traces in the bile ducts, and cloves in the hookworm's mouthpouch - in the duodenum. Damage can also occur during the migration of parasites. After infection with echinococcosis, which can increase in size up to 10 cm in diameter, internal organs are pressured and their functioning worse. Parasites living in the digestive tract eat their host from undigested food or from already broken down nutrients. Parasites eat not only proteins, carbohydrates and fats, but also enzymes, vitamins and hormones.

Parasitosis: toxic effects of parasites

The toxic effect of parasites on the human body is related to the fact that they produce many enzymes that damage cells and inhibit physiological processes. Some protozoa are haemolytic, which may lead to blood clotting disorders. The products of metabolism or protein breakdown products of the parasites themselves also have a toxic effect on the human body. Flukes secrete organic acids and fats, tapeworms - organic acids and nitrogen compounds, and nematodes - only nitrogen compounds. These compounds can provoke degenerative changes in some organs, such as the liver and kidneys. Many parasites produce compounds (e.g. histamine, acetylcholine) that cause inflammation, dilate blood vessels, destroy the intestinal mucosa, which can lead to ulceration. Especially strongthe toxins are secreted by ticks, which can result in cerebral palsy.

Parasitosis: allergy-like symptoms

Some parasitoses have symptoms that resemble allergies. Skin reactions, catarrh of the upper respiratory tract and bronchial asthma are an expression of the organism's hypersensitivity to parasite antigens. Catarrh of the upper respiratory tract and bronchial asthma are caused by house dust mite allergens, but also by lice faeces, parts of the body inhaled with the air and secretions of house flies, antigens of bedbugs or other arthropods. However, some scientists have suggested that the immune mechanisms that reduce the response to a parasite infection may be of benefit to the host by blocking atopic responses. But the results of the research conducted so far on the impact of parasite infestation on the occurrence of asthma are inconclusive.


Parasitosis: research

  • Blood test: when looking for antibodies to parasite toxins, it detects, among others, Trichinella, tapeworm, toxoplasm. The analysis of a live drop of blood (from the fingertip) makes it possible to determine the stage of development of the parasites. Price: PLN 110-150.
  • Fecal examination: is performed when there is a suspicion of infection with the throat, i.e. lamblia, human roundworm, pinworms, tapeworms or amoebiasis. You need to test at least 3 stool samples, delivered to the laboratory every 3 or 4 days (when searching for 6 samples).
  • Price: PLN 15-40 for one sample.
  • Examination of other body fluids: searching for the vegetative form of gardiosis (lamblia), i.e. trophozoites, the content from the duodenum is examined; if toxoplasmosis is suspected, the cerebrospinal fluid or fluid taken from the anterior chamber of the eye is examined, in leishmania - the content of skin ulcers.
  • Radiological and other examinations: when tracking toxocarosis, one looks for infiltrates on the lungs; to confirm infection with human roundworm, X-ray with contrast is done; when looking for Demodex, the eyelashes are examined.

Parasitosis: the body's defense mechanisms

Parasites can enter the human body in many ways. But our body defends itself against their invasion. The outer protective barrier is the skin, mucosa of the respiratory tract and the conjunctiva. Cilia and mucus on the oral mucosa protect us from parasites that want to enter the body this way. Many intruders are also barred from tears, saliva and body fluids. The most important fighter, however, is the immune system. During the invasion of parasites, both the elements of the non-specific and specific immune response are activated. Macrophages and monocytes phagocytose (devour) parasite antigens and then attach fragments of these antigens to histocompatibility molecules andthey present specific epitopes (fragments) of the parasite to lymphocytes. Thus, phagocytes (phagocytes), as units of the non-specific reaction, mediate the formation of the specific response. At the same time, they produce cytokines and chemokines that enhance and localize the antigenic impulse. Other food cells, such as neutrophils (cells of the immune system) and eosinophils (a type of white blood cell), are also involved. An immune reaction and inflammation develop. It is the body's first line of defense, the effectiveness of which is determined by genetic factors.

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