PLASMODIUM

The Plasmodium parasite causes malaria, a terrible illness that threatens half the world's population. As the parasites multiply in the blood they cause fever, headaches and muscle pains. Malaria kills around one million people every year, most of whom are young children.

TOXOPLASMA

Toxoplasma gondii can live in many animals, including humans - about a third of us are already infected! Fortunately most infections won’t make us sick, but newborn babies and people with damaged immune systems are at risk.

TRYPANOSOMES

Trypanosomes cause deadly sleeping sickness in Africa. Infected people suffer headaches and fever. The parasites eventually force their way into the brain, leading to sleepiness, coma and death. Trypanosomes can also kill farm animals. This can be a disaster for farmers, who can lose everything.


Having a parasitic disease can be terrible. Not only will you feel ill and possibly die, but you can't work and your family will go hungry.”

HOW DID YOU GET THEM?

Even though your body is like a fortress, parasites have ways of invading



HOW DO THEY PERSIST?

Parasites have devious ways of surviving in your body



HOW CAN WE FIGHT BACK?

Scientific research can give us weapons to fight back


.....BUT PARASITES FIGHT BACK TOO

Parasites evolve defences against our weapons - the fight goes on...

You’re feeling ill, so you go to the doctor. The doctor takes a sample of your blood. And that’s when they discover...


YOU’VE GOT PARASITES!

Single-cell parasites are tiny creatures that can infect our bodies.  Once inside us they feed from our blood and tissues.  As they multiply, they grow strong as we grow sick.  At the University of Glasgow we study a number of parasites to try to understand them better and work out new ways to fight them. 

Click on these images to learn more about each parasite