Acta Parasitologica Homepage
Tables of Contents
Volume 46 Tables of Contents

Acta Parasitologica, Vol.46, No. 1, 2001, 63-69
Kohler Peter - The impact of research on parasites beyond parasitology.

Institute of Parasitology, University of Zurich, Winterthrurerstrasse 266a, 8057 Zurich, Switzerland

Within the first half of the last century, the influence of parasitology on other scientific fields has been rather limited. One of the rare examples are the early discoveries made by Paul Ehrlich on chemical dyes as antiprotozoal agents that has marked the beginning of modern antiinfective chemotherapy. This position has, however, changed in the past decades, when scientists have recognized parasites as excellent model systems for uncovering basic principles of eukaryotic biology. These studies have given the field a dramatic impetus and opened up fascinating research work that has shown to result in knowledge for pursuing studies in a variety of other biomedical areas or have provided useful tools to answer questions of more general interest. A number of discoveries that have markedly stimulated similar research in other systems were made within the biochemistry, molecular biology and immunology of parasites. Here a few representative examples of these achievements are discussed of which one could state today that they have been of importance for the development of other scientific areas.

KEY WORDS: pyrophosphate-dependent enzymes, energy metabolism, glycosylphosphatidylinositol anchors, trans-splicing, RNA editing, T helper cell dichotomy, molecular evolution, protein trafficking, protein secretion, Giardia
Page compiled by Aleksander H.Kedra. Last modification: 08-03-2001