Q:

What are examples of protozoa?

A:

Cryptosporidium, Toxoplasma gondii, Pneumocystis carinii, Acanthamoeba, Giardia lamblia and Naegleria are all examples of protozoa. They are unicellular eukaryotic organisms that exist in all habitable environments on Earth, and many species of protozoa act as parasites on higher animals.

Medical Microbiology explains that more than 50,000 species of protozoa have been classified. The first protozoa to be described was discovered by Anton van Leeuwenhoek between 1674 and 1716 when he observed the parasite Giardia lamblia in his own stool. At some point during the life cycle of a human being, it is almost certain that one or more of the many species of parasitic protozoa make their home in the human body. The consequences of such an infection range from entirely asymptomatic to potentially life threatening. Some diseases caused by protozoa infections include malaria, trypanosomiasis and leishmaniasis. Protozoan-induced diseases can be difficult to eradicate because of the ability of some species to reproduce asexually, and just a few protozoa making their way into the body of a viable host can produce an immense population. For instance, a person infected with malaria could have up to 400 million Plasmodium falciparum per milliliter of blood from an initial exposure of as few as 10 individual organisms. Other species of protozoans include Balantidium coli, Typanosoma evansi, Dientamoeba fragilis and Entamoeba histolytica.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    How are protozoa classified?

    A:

    Protozoa are classified as single-celled organisms called eukaryotes, which belong to the subkingdom Protista. Individual types of protozoa within this subkingdom are typically identified by observing their form of movement.

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  • Q:

    How do protozoa move?

    A:

    Protozoa move by cell extension, flagella and cilia; the method of movement is determined by the type of organism and the surrounding environment. Protozoa are classified into three groups: ciliates, amoebae and flagellates. Ciliates move using tiny cilia, flagellates move through water using flagella as oars and paddles and amoeba crawl along surfaces by extending parts of their cells.

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  • Q:

    What are the general characteristics of phylum Protozoa?

    A:

    According to the University of Colorado, organisms in the phylum Protazoa are the animal-like members of Kingdom Protista. These organisms are mostly single-celled, although there are several multicellular protist species. All protists obtain nutrients by feeding on other living things, and they are mobile. Their cells are eukaryotic and contain developed organelles, but they lack cell walls.

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  • Q:

    What are examples of biotechnology?

    A:

    Some examples of biotechnology include human gene therapy, genetically modifying plants and changing the genes of bacteria. Biotechnology helps improve crops so they produce more, healthier produce. It also helps fight human diseases.

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