The Parasite And Its Effects On The Human Body

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5. a. Dracunculus medinensis, or the Guinea worm, has plagued humanity for thousands of years. This parasite enters the human body initially as larvae from drinking water. As the worms grow older, they begin to approach the skin of the individual. The worm causes blisters on the skin that burst and cause massive pain. In order to extinguish the pain, victims jump into water; however, the water provides a better situation for the worm to reproduce, so the parasite releases larvae. In other words, the parasite manipulates a host to behave a certain way. The easiest way to combat the parasite is to avoid soothing the pain in the water, since the parasite will fail to deploy the larvae. b. Hymenoepimecis argyraphaga, a wasp, has a parasitic relationship with a spider, Plesiometa argyra. The wasp injects poison into the spider, paralysing it; afterwards, the wasp places an egg on top of the spider’s abdomen. The egg quickly hatches and the resulting larva sucks the blood of the spider. Eventually, it manipulates the spider through the use of chemicals, making the spider move back and forth while weaving a web specifically designed to act as a cocoon for the larva. When the web is complete, the larva sucks all of the spider’s blood and drops the remains to the jungle floor. Scientists, however, have yet to pinpoint the actual method the larva uses to manipulate the host. The biochemical it uses is extremely potent, as it has been tested to last a few days. c.
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