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Parasitic disorders
OMIM [1]
DiseasesDB [2]
MedlinePlus [3]
eMedicine /
MeSH {{{MeshNumber}}}

A parasitic disorder or parasitic disease is an infectious disorder caused or transmitted by a parasite. Many parasites do not cause disease per se. Parasitic diseases are widespread affecting all living organisms, including animals and man. The study of parasitic diseases is called parasitology.

Some parasites like Toxoplasma gondii can cause disease directly, but other protozoan cause disease by the toxins that they produce and these can have affects on the brain and on behavior.

Although organisms such as bacteria and viruses function as parasites, the usage of the term "parasitic disease" is usually more restricted. The three main types of organisms causing these conditions are protozoa, helminths, and ectoparasites.[1]

Psychologists have studed these disorders from a number of perspectives. For example recent research suggests that parasites, in particular toxoplasma, form cysts in the brain, often taking up residence in the amygdala. This may provide clues as to how specific parasites manipulate behavior and may contribute to the development of disorders, including paranoia.[2]

Attitudes towards parasitic infectionEdit

Prevention of parasitic infectionEdit

Cognitive and mental health consequences of parasitic infections in humansEdit

Effect of parasitic infections in animalsEdit

This is a list of topics related to human parasitic diseases. See also the categories shown below.



Vectors and hostsEdit


Animal grooming behavior and personal grooming in humans is partly aimed at removing external parasites

See alsoEdit


  1. About Parasites.
  2. Vyas et al. (2007). Behavioral changes induced by Toxoplasma infection of rodents are highly specific to aversion of cat odors. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 104 (15): 6442-7.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Mites and Ticks. Public-Health Pest Control. Public-Health Pesticide Applicator Training Manual. University of Florida. URL accessed on 2008-09-19.

Further readingEdit


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  • Sukel, K. (2008). Cerebral malaria, a wily foe. In Cerebrum 2008: Emerging ideas in brain science (pp. 53-65). Washington, DC: Dana Press.


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See alsoEdit


  1. About Parasites.
  2. Vyas et al. (2007). Behavioral changes induced by Toxoplasma infection of rodents are highly specific to aversion of cat odors. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 104 (15): 6442-7.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Mites and Ticks. Public-Health Pest Control. Public-Health Pesticide Applicator Training Manual. University of Florida. URL accessed on 2008-09-19.

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