Nica Richards
Deputy online news editor
3 minute read
22 Jun 2020
6:07 am

Why parasites are vital to our existence

Nica Richards

Parasites play an important role in the immune systems of their hosts, which makes their presence vital.

Mosquito. Picture: iStock

A philosophical paper written by University of Johannesburg palaeontology and philosophy of science Professor Francois Durand in 2016 has recently been revived, and proves eerily relevant amid the Covid-19 outbreak. The pandemic is the latest in a string of age-old plagues, brought on by parasites. Scientists and conservationists have long warned of people’s unsustainable ways, culminating in an array of diseases that should have humbled mankind when they first emerged. But instead of heeding nature’s call and halting our forced presence on wild animals and mysterious habitats, we forged on, adapted and continued with brute force to colonise what we...