Nutrition and Biochemistry of Parasites

Parasitic nutrition is a mode of heterotrophic nutrition where an organism lives on the body surface or inside the body of another type of organism .The parasite obtains nutrition directly from the body of the host. The parasites derive their nourishment from their host. This symbiotic interaction is often described as harmful to the host. Parasites are dependent on their host for survival; host provides nutrition and protection for the parasite. As a result of this dependence, parasites have considerable modifications to optimise parasitic nutrition and therefore their survival.

Parasites require nutrients to carry out essential functions including reproduction and their growth. The nutrients required from the host are, amino acids, carbohydrates and lipids. Carbohydrates are utilised to generate energy, amino acids and fatty acids are involved in the synthesis of macromolecules and the production of eggs. Most parasites are heterotrophs, so they are unable to synthesise their own 'food'.

 

  • Parasitic advantage
  • Uptake of nutrients
  • Physiology and metabolic pathways
  • Factors affecting development
  • Anti-parasitic chemotherapy

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