Some harmful protists include plasmodium, gregarines, haemosporidia and coccidians. Others include babesia, toxoplasma, adeleorina and some forms of amoeba. Some of these protists are parasites on invertebrates such as gastropods while others are parasites on vertebrates such as humans.Continue Reading
Plasmodium is a protist that causes malaria. The organism is passed from one host to another either by a mosquito or, more rarely, through sharing of contaminated needles. This happens because the parasite needs to spend part of its life cycle inside the mosquito and part of its life cycle inside a vertebrate. The sickness is caused because the organism invades the host's red blood cells and deforms them. This is why sickle cell anemia, where the red blood cells are already deformed, offers some protection against malaria.
Coccidians and gregarines live in the guts of their hosts, but coccidians parasitize vertebrates, while gregarines are found in mollusks and types of arthropods. Both of these protists also have complex life cycles that require a host to complete. Coccidians cause diseases such as cryptosporidiosis and cyclosporiasis.
The entamoeba histolytica is responsible for amoebic dysentery. They also live in the gut and destroy the bacteria that live there. This causes symptoms such as constipation that alternates with bloody, watery diarrhea, flatulence and abdominal cramps.Learn more about Biology
All protists are eukaryotic, meaning they feature a cellular structure with nuclei to contain their genetic material. Also called protozoans, which means "first animals," all protists prefer a moist environment and are found where there is perpetually moist soil or in freshwater and saltwater bodies of water.Full Answer >
Algae, a type of protist, supports life on earth by producing much of the oxygen present in the atmosphere. Some protists, such as diatoms, dinoflagellates and foraminiferans, also play an essential role in marine ecosystems by serving as a source of food and shelter for many organisms.Full Answer >
Protists are a diverse group of organisms, and they reproduce in a number of different ways, including asexual binary fission, multiple fission, fragmentation and several forms of sexual reproduction. Many protists can reproduce either sexually or asexually depending on environmental conditions.Full Answer >
Protists live in lakes, rivers, oceans, ponds and wet sediments. Since they are microscopic organisms, they can live in just about any part of the world that has traces of water to support their life.Full Answer >