Killer Protists

By Christopher Xavier and Madison Perry

Plasmodium

Infection with these protozoans is known as malaria.The vector is the Anopholes Mosquito.The parasite always has two hosts in its life cycle: a mosquito vector and a vertebrate host.Malaria is a life-threatening disease caused by parasites that are transmitted to people through the bites of infected mosquitoes.In 2012, malaria caused an estimated 627 000 deaths (with an uncertainty range of 473 000 to 789 000), mostly among African children.Malaria is preventable and curable,but very deadly.Non-immune travelers from malaria-free areas are very vulnerable to the disease when they get infected.
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Giardia

Giardia causes the diarrheal illness.It is found on surfaces or in soil, food, or water that has been contaminated with feces (poop) from infected humans or animals.Giardia is protected by an outer shell that allows it to survive outside the body for long periods of time and makes it tolerant to chlorine disinfection. While the parasite can be spread in different ways, water (drinking water and recreational water) is the most common method of transmission.
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Trypanosoma

The vector is the tsetse fly which is found only in rural Africa(sub-Saharan). Although the infection is not found in the United States, historically, it has been a serious public health problem in some regions of sub-Saharan Africa. Currently, about 10,000 new cases each year are reported to the World Health organization. It is believed that many of these cases go undiagnosed and unreported. It is fatal if left untreated.
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Acanthamoeba

Acanthamoeba is a microscopic, free-living amoeba that can cause severe infections of the eye, skin, and central nervous system. The amoeba is found worldwide in the environment in water and soil. The amoeba can be spread to the eyes through contact lens use, cuts, or skin wounds or by being inhaled into the lungs. Many people will be encounter Acanthamoeba during their lifetime, but very few will receive the infection.
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