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Curr Opin Microbiol. 2011 Dec;14(6):642-8. doi: 10.1016/j.mib.2011.09.012. Epub 2011 Oct 21.

Social parasites.

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  • 1Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Molecular Genetics, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA.

Abstract

Protozoan parasites cause tremendous human suffering worldwide, but strategies for therapeutic intervention are limited. Recent studies illustrate that the paradigm of microbes as social organisms can be brought to bear on questions about parasite biology, transmission and pathogenesis. This review discusses recent work demonstrating adaptation of social behaviors by parasitic protozoa that cause African sleeping sickness and malaria. The recognition of social behavior and cell-cell communication as a ubiquitous property of bacteria has transformed our view of microbiology, but protozoan parasites have not generally been considered in this context. Works discussed illustrate the potential for concepts of sociomicrobiology to provide insight into parasite biology and should stimulate new approaches for thinking about parasites and parasite-host interactions.

Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

PMID:
22020108
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3230740
Free PMC Article
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