The duality of the parasite-host nexus
The large majority of biotic interactions stem from the concept of the parasite-host relationship. This relationship is immensely diverse and convoluted, ranging from one host and one parasite to multiple hosts and one parasite. The immensity of this interaction can be seen in the fact that parasites inhabit both terrestrial and aquatic organisms. Through the course of many years, parasites have evolved in order to adapt to their host. The evolution of genetics has allowed the parasite to gain the ability to manipulate its environment to increase its fitness. There are several methods that the parasite can employ to attain maximum survival. One such method is behavioral modification in either the intermediate or definitive host. The parasite can also induce forced castration in its host in order to enhance parasite survival and propagation. As result of parasitic load, the host is able to modify its own behavior and sexual reproduction as a means for evasion. The study of these diverse interactions will shed more light on the complexity of parasite-host interactions.
Lucerna, Volume 7, Number 1, pages15-30