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Adaptations can be classified as either progressive or

regressive, or biological.

Progressive adaptations Parasite has developed certain of its parts to a higher level
of functionality.

Regressive adaptations Involve the simplification or disappearance of certain organs

of the parasite.

Biological adaptations
Enable the parasites to survive better, but cannot be
explained as simply atrophy or development of new organs
for the parasites.


In order to survive, ecto- and endoparasites have evolved to be able
to leave the host and to change hosts. The range o possible hosts
and the way parasites leave and enter their hosts determine the
travel paths of parasites in nature, as well as those of the diseases
they cause.
The typical natural sources of infectious disease-causing agents are
the people and animals already hosting the disease, or carriers of
parasites who spread them in the outside environment.

The process by which an organism is entered by diseasecausing agents is known as infection, and the resulting diseases
as infectious diseases.

Bacteriphages penetrate
into E. coli bacterium



E. coli

gripo sukljas

The process by which parasites (that is protozoa, helminths,

arthropods) enter the host is known as infection, and parasitic diseases
are also termed as infective diseases.

Balantidium coli
Trichomonas vaginalis

Pediculus vestimenti

Cimex lectularius

An organism (human or animal) in which a

disease-causing parasite lives (viruses, bacteriae,
riketsiae, fungi, protozoa, helminths, arthropods),
develops or reproduces is termed as an infection

Autoinvasion when individual themselves can become the

sourse for self infection.
Reinvazija when individual catches repeated infection after

It somethimes occurs that a parasitic disease moves from a

symptomatic to an asymptomatic form. A disease without clinical
symptoms is known as a latent disease, and the period it lasts as the
latent period.
If the symptoms of disease, after recovery, take a turn for the
worse, such a situation is termed a relapse of the disease.

An organism in which parasites can accumulate and survive for extended

periods of time is known as a reservoir host.
A natural reservoir is a habitat suitable for sustaining parasite life in the
natural environment.

There are several types of natural reservoir:

Soil reservoir
Aquatic reservoir
Above-ground (terraneous) reservoir
Technogenic reservoir

Technogenic reservoir

Vectors are critical to the natural circulation of many

parasites. Most vectors are bloodsucking arthropods
(insects and arachnids).
Vectors may be classified into:
mechanical vectors
specific vectors.
Mechanical vectors simply transport
disease-causing agents from host to host.
No development of the parasites occurs in
these vectors.

Blatta orientalis

Musca domestica

Blatella germanica

Specific vectors are intermediate hosts as well: the

parasites develop in them and are typically passed on at
the end of that development. Consequently, there is
normally a very limited number of spieces (perhaps only a
single spieces) that may serve as specific vectors for any
given parasite
Glossina morsitans

Anopheles freeborni


Infectious diseases may be classified by their causing

1. Viral diseases - caused by viruses
2. Bacterial diseases - caused by bacteria
3. Fungal diseases - caused by fungi
4. Parasitic diseases - caused by parasitic protozoa,
helminths, arachnids and insects.
5. Transmissional diseases are those infectious diseases
which are transferred host-to-host by some transmitting
organism (the vector).

There are two types of transmissional diseases:

obligate transmissional and facultative
Obligate transmissional are those diseases that
can only be transmitted through a vector,
Facultative transmissive are those diseases which
may be transmitted with or without a vector, i.e. the
vector is not absolutely necessary.

Infectious diseases may also be classified according to

organism they infect.
1. Anthroponoses are human-only diseases, such as
amoebiasis or trichomoniasis.
2. Anthropozoonoses are diseases of both humans
and animals, such as tick-borne encephalitis,
leishmaniasis, toxoplasmosis.
3. Zoonoses are diseases passed from animal to
animal. Humans can serve as mechanical vectors for
these, as in the examples of cattle lung plague or bird
malaria, or horse breeding disease