Lab 2: Diversity: Protozoa


Parasitism is a surprisingly common lifestyle, occurring in tens of thousands of species from most of the major animal phyla. This lab (and the next five) introduce you to the major groups of parasitic animals.

Each lab covers one or two major parasitic taxa (usually at the phylum level). There is a general introduction to that taxon, and a description of the general morphological forms and life cycle patterns that occur in that taxon. Following the general material is a description of several of the sub-taxa (class or order), and detailed treatment of one (or occasionally two) representative species from each of these sub-taxa. These representative species are presented in the same manner as the "example parasites" in Lab 1. There are life cycle descriptions, morphological drawings, and photographs, and occasionally animations and movies of live parasites.

Lab 2 focuses on the major group of microscopic parasites: the Protozoa. This is a large, diverse group of unicellular organisms with numerous parasitic representatives.

In this lab we examine representatives of the Protozoa. We look at 2 apicomplexans: the 2-host Plasmodium (which you saw last lab as an "example parasite") and the 1-host Eimeria. We look a sarcodinian: the 1-host ameba Entamoeba, and several flagellated protozoans: the 2-host kinetoplastid flagellates Trypanosoma and Leishmania, and the 1-host retortamonad flagellate Giardia. Two minor phyla (as far as humans go) are also presented: the Ciliophora and Microsporea (you are not responsible for the Microsporea). Pay particular attention to the general introductory sections for the Protozoa (Introduction, Morphology, Life cycles) because of the diversity present within this group.