Parasitic and Protozoal Infections

  • Carolina TalhariEmail author
  • Sílvia Nakajima
  • Bernardo Gontijo


This chapter addresses the major parasitic and protozoal diseases with dermatologic effects, particularly in relation to epidemiologic, clinical, and therapeutic aspects. Public health in various regions of the world is affected by arthropod infections, insect infections, hemiptera infections, dipterous larvae infestations, helminthic infections, and protozoal infections. Some of these diseases are considered “neglected,” and a major effort should be made by government authorities, health institutions, and health professionals to better control their incidence and prevalence rates.


Infections Infestations Arthropod Insect Hemiptera Dipterous Larva Helminthic Protozoal Scabies Demodicosis Head lice Body Triatomine Bug Bed Myiasis Migrans Leishmaniasis 




Two developmental stages are formed (Leishmania): the amastigotes are small spherical nonflagellated cells ranging from 2 to 4 μm in diameter. The nucleus and kinetoplast are surrounded by small ring of vacuolated cytoplasm and the cells are among the smallest nucleated cells known.

Anergic pole/hyperergic pole

The two pathogenicity extremes of the spectrum generally recognized are represented at the hypersensitivity pole by mucocutaneous leishmaniasis (MCL) and at the hyposensitivity pole by anergic diffuse cutaneous leishmaniasis (ADCL).


The human body harbors a large number of bacteria but their localization in healthy individuals is normally restricted to certain body areas such as the skin, the mucosae of buccal and nasal cavities, vagina, and, most importantly, the gastrointestinal tract. Colonization is the act of setting up a colony away from one’s place of origin.


A parasite that lives on or in the skin but not within the body.


A fomes or fomite is any nonliving object or substance capable of carrying infectious organisms, such as germs or parasites and hence transferring them from one individual to another. Skin cells, hair, clothing, and bedding are common hospital sources of contamination.


A family of enzymes that degrade hyaluronic acid.


Parasites, including harmful nanites, cause infestations, which are a type of affliction similar to diseases. Also known as or related to infestation by pediculus, pubic louse infestation, pediculosis pubis, and pediculosis.


A condition that affects hair growth. Its most characteristic feature is that individual strands of hair have a beaded appearance like the beads of a necklace.


Two developmental stages are formed (Leishmania): amastigotes and promastigotes. Promastigotes are thin elongated cells with an anterior kinetoplast and an emergent free flagellum.


Any enzyme that performs proteolysis, that is, begins protein catabolism by hydrolysis of the peptide bonds that link amino acids together in a polypeptide chain.

Skin microbiota

The skin flora, more properly referred to as the skin microbiota, are the microorganisms which reside on the skin.

Th1 response

The Th1 response is characterized by the production of interferon-γ, which activates the bactericidal activities of macrophages, induces B cells to make opsonizing (coating) and complement-fixing antibodies, and leads to cell-mediated immunity.

Th2 response

The Th2 response is characterized by the release of interleukin-5, which induces eosinophils in the clearance of parasites. Th2 also produce interleukin-4, which facilitates B-cell isotype switching. In general, Th2 responses are more effective against extracellular bacteria, parasites including helminths, and toxins.

Trichorrhexis nodosa

A defect in the hair shaft characterized by thickening or weak points (nodes) that cause the hair to break off easily.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Carolina Talhari
    • 1
    Email author
  • Sílvia Nakajima
    • 2
  • Bernardo Gontijo
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of DermatologyState University of AmazonManausBrazil
  2. 2.Alfredo da Matta FoundationManausBrazil
  3. 3.Federal University of Minas Gerais Medical SchoolBelo HorizonteBrazil

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