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There's lots of words to keep track of when talking about parasites, this useful list will help you understand some of the words used in our exhibition and parasites pages.

Adaptation

A feature of an organism's body which helps it to survive.

DNA - Deoxyribonucleic acid

The material inside the nucleus of cells, carrying the genetic information of a living being.

Guinea worm disease

A disease caused by the parasite Dracunculus medinensis which is carried by the water flea and delivered via water.

Host

The organism lived on or in by a parasite.

Leishmaniasis

A disease caused by the parasite Leishmania which is carried by the female sandfly and spread by its bite.

Malaria

A disease caused by the parasite Plasmodium falciparum which is carried by female mosquitos and spread by their bites.

 

Parasite

A parasite is an organism that lives in or on another organism such as humans.

Parasitology

The scientific study of parasites, their characteristics and vectors.

Schistosomiasis

A disease caused by the parasite Schistosoma which is carried by freshwater snails and spread through water.

Sleeping Sickness

A disease caused by the parasite Trypanosoma brucei which is carried by the tsetse fly and spread by its bite.

Transmission

The spreading of pathogenic disease, for example by touch, food, water.

Vector

Any organism that can spread a disease.

Is there a word missing here? Then please email us at schools@nms.ac.uk 

Visit Parasites exhibition

Learn more about these five tropical diseases and the parasites that cause them in our interactive exhibition, Parasites: Battle for Survival is on display at the National Museum of Scotland from 6 December 2019 to 19 April 2020.

School children exploring Parasites exhibition © Neil Hannah

 

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