A fatal attraction

Viruses have no intrinsic means of locomotion, but because of their small size their movement can be driven by Brownian motion. Propagation of viruses is dependent on essentially random encounters with potential hosts and host cells. An exception appears to be chloroviruses, which can attract their host from a distance.

A virus in a parasite in a human

The protozoan parasite Leishmania, transmitted to humans by the bite of a sandfly, may cause disfiguring skin lesions. A virus within the parasite appears to increase the risk of treatment failure with anti-leishmania drugs. A double-stranded RNA virus was found over 20 years ago to infect different species of Leishmania, with up to 50% of clinical isolates …

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Viruses of protozoan parasites may exacerbate human disease

Many protozoan parasites (Trichomonas, Leishmania, Giardia, Plasmodium, Entamoeba, Nagleria, Eimeria, Cryptosporidium) are infected with viruses. These viruses do not infect vertebrates, but their double-stranded RNA genomes are sensed by the innate immune system, leading to inflammatory complications of protozoan infections. Trichomonas vaginalis is a protozoan parasite that infects the genitourinary tract of ~250 million individuals …

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Dickson Despommier’s Parasitic Diseases lectures

Professor Dickson Despommier, co-host of TWiV and TWiP, and well known for his ideas about vertical farming, taught parasitology to medical, dental, and nursing students at Columbia University’s College of Physicians & Surgeons for 38 years. Below are videocasts of the six lectures from the final version of his course, Parasitic Diseases, which he taught …

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TWiP 2: General parasitism

Hosts: Vincent Racaniello and Dickson Despommier On episode 2 of the podcast “This Week in Parasitism”, Vincent and Dick classify parasites according to whether or not they are transmitted by a vector, then consider the implications of long-lived parasites. [powerpress url=”″] Click the arrow above to play, or right-click to download Download TWiP #2 (47 …

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