Parasites and their Hunger Pangs and Behavior



Have you ever wondered how parasites survive within your system? Do they also eat when you eat or are there separate timings? The answers to these questions and other related ones may provide insights into the threats of parasitic infections. For instance, as per a recently published report in PLoS Pathogens, the daily activities of the parasites are related to a large extent to when their hosts eat. In what follows below, you’ll get insights about parasites, their hunger and behavioral patterns, and why you should be careful when you eat something; especially raw or uncooked food. Read on to know more. 
Rhythmic Behavioral Patterns
As human beings, we tend to live and survive in a rhythmically managed world that has behavioral patterns and routines. Most people wake up, go to work, eat, sleep, and do other important things in between. Just as you go about our day to day work in a set and disciplined fashion, so does your biological system. Yes, your metabolic processes are also habitual in nature and follow repeated and set patterns to perform effectively. You can observe a routine in how your heart pumps blood, your body temperature rises and falls across the day, how you feel hunger pangs, etc. 
The same rings true for your food intake, metabolism, urine and bowel discharges, menstrual cycles, and so forth. Given the cyclic and set patterns followed by your body,  you have to be careful that nothing goes wrong to disturb your system. For instance, your bio clock should not be disturbed by parasitic invasions or infections. Once your system faces a parasitic attack, your biological processes will get hampered and you’ll fail to be in rhythm with the environment. Parasites living within their hosts are also impacted by the rhythms that living organisms go through on a daily basis. 
For instance, there have been several studies connected with the eating habits (and timing of meal intakes) of hosts and how they affect the actions of malarial parasites. As per the rodent model system study, researchers found that when the meal timings of mice were altered, the parasites living within them also changed the time when they actively infected red blood cells. Alongside this, the time when they underwent the process of mitosis also changed. 
What Affects the habits of Parasites?
There are several other studies and experiments related to the different aspects of feeding time that influence parasitic behavior. It has been found that an increase in the blood glucose concentration linked with the timing of meals has a tendency of coinciding with the timing when the parasites are most active. They are dependent on the metabolic functions of their hosts and start acting accordingly. It has also been noted that these glucose-hungry parasites survive in different forms in the blood and use glucose as an essential food source for their survival. The conclusion remains – when the hosts eat, the parasites eat. 
Why Care?
You should be aware of these behavioral patterns of parasites and their connection with the timing of your metabolic processes for more reasons than one. Remember, the transmission to vectors, time of causing infections, and susceptibility to hosts all change across the day. Having knowledge of how timing influences the parasites and the hosts can give you firmer grounds to handle parasitic infections if any. 

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