parasite

Tag archives for parasite

Venomous ticks??

Ticks are blood-sucking arthropods that can act as vectors for various diseases in both animals and humans. A recent article published in Frontiers in Zoology summarizes findings that suggest ticks may also be considered venomous ectoparasites. For example, Ixodes holocyclus is a species of Australian tick whose saliva can induce paralysis in humans and animals. According to the new article, about…

Believe it or not, scientists at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in collaboration with Coronado Biosciences are intentionally infecting people who have autism with whipworms from pigs (Trichuris suis), although generally considered non-pathogenic to humans. For some individuals, an elevated inflammatory state contributes to repetitive and irritable behaviors associated with autism. Researchers have observed that…

Researchers Suárez-Rodríguez et al., observed house finches (C. mexicanus) and sparrows (P. domesticus) on the National University of Mexico campus in Mexico City routinely pulling apart cigarette butts to obtain the filters. The birds were found to incorporate the filters in their nests leaving researchers to speculate the purpose of used cigarette butts. Using heating elements to attract parasites, they…

A study published in the European Journal of Personality suggests that humans infected with toxoplasmosis gondii are more extroverted compared to non-infected individuals. According to the CDC, roughly 22.5% of Americans over 12 are infected. The effects of the parasite are attributed to increased levels of dopamine in the brains of infected individuals. People can…