Killer Protists

By Soujanya G.

Bot Fly Larvae

The first deadly protist is bot fly larvae. The common name for this protist is Human Bot Fly. The scientific name is Dermatobia hominis. Symptoms include: raised surfaces of the skin, intense pain on the scalp, appearance of large white oils, red pimple like objects on parts of the body with botfly holes in the center. A species of human botfly found in Central and South America attaches its eggs to a mosquito. When the mosquito comes in contact with a person and bites the person, the fly eggs hatch on the human and the larvae fasten onto the humans skin. That is when the larvae bores into muscle tissue and causes infestation.


The second protist is Plasmodium. The common name for this protist is Malaria. The scientific name is Plasmodium falciparum. Symptoms include: fever, shaking chills, headache, muscle pain, and sweating. Humans get malaria from mosquito bites. The Anopheles (name of the mosquito) bite and release parasites into a person's system that cause red blood cells to break. The chemicals that are released by these ruptured cells cause malaria to develop.


The third deadly protist is Giardiasis. The common name for this protist is Giardia intestinalis. The scientific name is Giardia lamblia. Symptoms include: Abdominal cramps, bloating, nausea, and weight loss, gas, dehydration. The parasite that causes giardiasis lives in the intestines. People get infected by drinking contaminated water. People may also become infected through hand-to-mouth transmission. This is eating contaminated food or touching contaminated surfaces and transferring the parasites from your hand to your mouth, unknowingly swallowing the parasite. The parasite attaches itself to the lining of the intestines in humans. There it ruins the body's absorption of fats and carbohydrates from digested foods causing the person to get the symptoms.


The last and final deadly protist is Trypanosomiasis. The common name for the protist is Trypanosoma. The scientific name is Trypanosoma brucei. The symptoms include: fever, severe headache, extreme fatigue, aching muscles, and swollen lymph nodes. A tsetse fly bites the human in rural areas of Africa causing a red sore to form. On the inside the infected area releases glands to attack the central nervous system of the human which may also cause a change in behavior.