Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Welcome to our Themes of Parasitology Blog!

We are a group of students studying parasitology at Mercer University in Macon, GA. This blog is a way for us to share our knowledge of parasites with the rest of the world. Our goal is to publish posts that give a general description of parasitic and mutalistic relationships as well as elaborate on some of the general strategies used by symbionts and their hosts.

We are reading Carl Zimmer’s “Parasite Rex” [1] and Claude Combs’ “The Art of Being a Parasite” [2] as part of our class. You may find that our posts complement their texts.

The general format of each post is as follows:

The species involved (specifically if reasonable) and the main biology of the relationship. General information such as global distribution, ecological impact, diseases caused, is introduced.

Symbiont Description:
Taxonomic details: genus species, basic details of its biology.

Host Description:
The host specificity of the symbiont. Include all hosts (intermediate, definitive, vectors, accidental, etc.)

Life Cycle: A basic walk-through of an entire generation of the parasite’s life cycle. Specific strategies employed by the symbiont or host that allow for efficient transmission will be described.

The consequences of this interaction in nature. (prevalence, distribution, disease, human interactions, economic impact, etc.)

An example of __________:
One aspect of the relationship that demonstrates a strategy or theory we talked about in class or was discovered from readings. (vector borne transmission, how complex life cycles can enhance fitness, how a parasite can alter society, etc.)

1. Zimmer, C. 2001. Parasite Rex: Inside the Bizarre World of Nature's Most Dangerous Creatures. New York: Free Press.
2. Combs, C. 2005. The Art of Being a Parasite. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.

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