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Parasites are eukaryotic organisms that live on their host’s costs. These pathogens represent a very heterogeneous group and differ among their structures and life cycles. The morphologies range from single-cell organisms (protozoa) up to complex worm structures (helminths). Dependent on host and stadium helminths can present in several forms such as eggs, larvae, and mature worms. Infections lead to varying symptoms that are strongly dependent on the causative organism. This group of pathogens does usually not induce any life-threatening disease since these pathogens are dependent on the host’s fitness. In some cases infections remain undiscovered for several years or decades. For this reason, emergency diagnostics is generally not indicated, except for suspected acute Malaria.
Diagnosis can be supported by several direct and indirect detection methods. The use of one single method might not be sufficient due to different parasite forms and complex life-cycles. Several different systems like serology and direct detection are usually combined to increase the overall sensitivity.