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Protist Cause Disease

Protist cause many diseases around the world. They are so dangerous because they can cause disease by drinking contaminated water, getting bit by a mosquito, or person to person after coming in contact with human or animal feces. I am going to discuss two big diseases that protist cause which are Giardiasis and Malaria. These two diseases will show why protist causes diseases better than viruses, fungi, and bacteria.

Giardiasis is a disease that results from Giardia lamblia and is the most commonly identified waterborne illness in the United States. G. lamblia is also the most commonly identified intestinal parasite in the US. In economically undeveloped countries in the world, its presence exceeds 10%. It is caused by drinking contaminated water or by person to person contact, like a day care. It has two forms the cyst and trophozoite. It infects when the ingested cysts survives stomach passage and the trophozoite emerge from the cysts in the small intestine. Some attach to the epithelium, while others move freely. The mucosal function is impaired by adherent protozoa and host immune response. It can cause disease so well because the cyst is resistant to stomach acid and you can get it from drinking water or through feces from person to person contact of hands in day care after changing diapers. The protist interferes with the ability of the intestine to absorb nutrients and secrete digestive enzymes. It can also be transmitted by dogs and cats to humans. It is researched that 20% of the world have G. lamblia.

Malaria is a protist disease that comes from being bit by a female Anopheles mosquito. The Plasmodium species are responsible for Malaria. "The disease has been one of the greatest killers of humans through the ages. At least 300 million people get malaria every year and one million die from it". It is very prevalent in Africa and Asia. Most of the medications used to prevent Malaria have become ineffective in Africa and Asia because there is a resistance towards it which makes it easy to contract the disease. Malaria infects by the cell rupturing and it releases a protozoa caused lever. It then infects the red blood cells which adhere to each other and to walls of the capillaries. It prevents tissues from getting oxygen and spleen enlarges in response to removing foreign material and many abnormal blood cells from the circulation. Malaria is one of the best at causing diseases.

Protist is better as causing diseases then viruses, bacteria, and fungus. They can infect a person so easily by being bit by a mosquito, drinking contaminated water, coming in contact with feces of human or cats. A lot of disease prone viruses can be prevented by safe sexual practices. They cannot infect you as easily as protist if you are careful. Viruses are already in our DNA so we know how to fight it off so it doesn't cause disease in most cases and they also help with gene therapy.

Bacteria cannot compete in causing disease with the protist. Only one percent of bacteria cause diseases. Most bacteria are good for you. Now fungi don't have a very good case either. They cause ringworm and athlete's foot but we can tell when we have those problems and can treat them. When you have a protist disease you might not even know you have it. You can kill a fungi disease before it gets worse. Something that makes beer and antibiotics cannot be good at causing diseases.

Work Cited

  • Nester, Eugene. Microbiology A Human Perspective. Berkeley, U of Washington P, 2007. Print.