September 4, 2018

Caroline Amoroso (Duke University)

Are humans exceptionally parasitized?

Humans have a lot of parasites – 1,415 to be exact. But is that number more than you would expect given the vast human population that stretches to the ends of the globe? We do live in very high densities and in very close contact with domestic animals, which are the source of many of our diseases. Or do we have fewer parasites than you would expect? We have medicine and other cultural practices that might shield us from parasites. This project aims to use statistical methods to compare the number of human parasites to the parasites of our closest relatives, wild primates, in order to see how we measure up. How many parasites should humans have if we were “just another primate,” and how does that prediction compare to reality? website