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Parasiteis defined as an organism that derives its nutrients from another living organism, the host. Parasitic diseases are usually referred to those caused by protozoa, helminths and arthropods which love at the expense of their host. Successful parasites are the ones who are able to maintain their own life processes without killing their host.
Several ways to distinguish parasites infection and bacteria/viruses infection:
Parasites have a complex life cycle that involves the formation of resistant cyst in the organism. (it can usually survive for long periods outside the host.)
Life cycle might involve an insect vector(carrier) that is important for the transmission of disease. In most cases, it is impossible to eliminate the vector effectively.
Some parasites are capable of infecting both humans and animals, thus both can act as reservoirs for the infection. This is true for most protozal infections carried by insects.
Many parasites has life cycle that requires enough time to allow for the various stages to mature, either in soil or in an insect or host.