Protozoan Infections

Protozoa are one-celled animals or animal-like eu-karyotic (having an organized nucleus) organisms. Older classifications treated the Protozoa as a phylum in the animal kingdom, but modern taxono-mists generally consider them members of a distinct kingdom, the Protista, along with other simple eu-caryotes. Three phyla (or classes) of Protozoa have species pathogenic for humankind: (1) The Sarcomas-tigophora - the flagellates and amebas - include try-panosomes, leishmanias, and parasitic amebas; (2) the Ciliophora - the ciliates - have only one human pathogen - Balantidium coli, an intestinal parasite with wide distribution but, usually, little clinical significance; (3) the Apicomplexa — the sporozoans -include many important pathogens, including the four species of Plasmodium that cause malaria.

K. David Patterson

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