The key difference between Worms and Parasites is that not all worms are dependent on another living organism for their survival whereas all parasites are dependent on another living organism for their survival.
Worms and Parasites are two groups of living organisms. Among the different types of living organisms on Earth, some are free-living while some are in association with other living organisms. Worms have long slender bodies, and they are free-living or live on or in another living organism while Parasites are organisms that depend on another living organism for its survival.
What are Worms?
Worms are invertebrate animals that have long, cylindrical or flattened bodies with no separate limbs. They can be free-living or parasitic. They live in diverse habitats including marine and freshwater, inside the plant and animal bodies, in the earth, etc.
Some worms are microscopic while others are over one meter in length. The term “worm” commonly used to refer the invertebrate animals in the phylum Annelida (earthworms), phylum Nematoda (roundworms) and phylum Platyhelminthes (flatworms).
What are Parasites?
Parasites are the organisms living on or in another living organism known the as host. They use different animals as their host organism including humans. Also, parasites live on and in plants.
Parasites obtain foods from their hosts causing diverse types of conditions or symptoms that are severe or mild. Three main parasitic groups that cause diseases to humans are protozoans (Entamoeba, Giardia, Leishmania, Plasmodium, Cryptosporidium, etc.), helminths (flatworms, roundworms, and segmented worms, etc.) and ectoparasites (mosquitoes, ticks, fleas, lice, mites, etc.).
According to the literature, over 100 different types of parasitic worms are living in humans. The interaction between parasite and the host always runs with the expenses of the host organism. Parasite harms the host. Furthermore, microscopic parasites cause various diseases such as diarrhoea, fatigue, skin rash, nervousness, asthma, anaemia and more.
What are the Similarities Between Worms and Parasites?
- Worms and Parasites are living organisms.
- Some worm categories are parasites.
- Worms and parasites cause diseases.
- They can be microscopic or macroscopic.
What is the Difference Between Worms and Parasites?
Worms vs Parasites
|Worms are animals that have long and slender bodies.||Parasites are organisms that live on or in another living organisms for the food.|
|Types of Animals|
|Worms include annelids, nematodes, Platyhelminthes etc.||Parasites include protozoa, helminths, and arthropods.|
|Free-Living or Parasitic|
|Worms are free-living or parasitic.||Parasites always show parasitism with another host organism.|
|Worms generally have long and cylindrical bodies.||Parasites can have different shaped bodies.|
Summary – Worms vs Parasites
The difference between worms and parasites, in short, is that the worms are either free-living or parasitic worms. While parasites are the organisms that live on or in another living organism. Parasites cause harmful effects on host and obtain foods causing mild to severe disease conditions to host.
1.“About Parasites.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 22 Apr. 2016. Available here
2.“Types of Worms and Parasites That Live in Humans.” Types of Human Worms and Parasites. Available here
3.“Parasitism.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 18 Apr. 2018. Available here
1.’3409167144’by allispossible.org.uk (CC BY 2.0) via Flickr
2.’Parasite140080-fig3 Gastrointestinal parasites in seven primates of the Taï National Park – Helminths’By Roland Yao Wa Kouassi, Scott William McGraw, Patrick Kouassi Yao, Ahmed Abou-Bacar, Julie Brunet, Bernard Pesson, Bassirou Bonfoh, Eliezer Kouakou N’goran and Ermanno Candolfi – Kouassi RYW, McGraw SW, Yao PK, Abou-Bacar A, Brunet J, Pesson B, Bonfoh B, N’goran EK & Candolfi E (CC BY 4.0) via Commons Wikimedia