Worthy Parasites: A Villain's Silver Lining

Hookworms. Image from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - Public Health Image Library.

Hookworms. Image from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - Public Health Image Library.


People hate parasites. They're slimy and repulsive - worms emerging from blisters on the body, mites breeding in skin folds. They hold wild parties in our guts. They bring pestilence, misery...even death. But wait: parasites can also be good - really, really good! Author Rosemary Drisdelle explores these much maligned creatures and their importance in nature, and she unveils exciting new medical research into the good they can do for us.

Rosemary Drisdelle
is a Clinical specialist in Parasitology, Halifax, Nova Scotia, and author of: Parasites: Tales of Humanity's Most Unwelcome Guests, published by California Press, 2010.

Participants in the program:

John Farley: Retired Professor of Biology at Dalhousie University in Halifax. Author of five books on science history.
Paul Greenwood: Multiple Sclerosis patient. Client of Autoimmune Therapies. Sheffield, England.
Jasper Lawrence: Founder of Autoimmune Therapies. England.
Susan Perkins: Associate Curator and Professor at the American Museum of Natural History in New York.
Graham Rook: Professor of Medical Microbiology at University College in London, England. Author of The Hygiene Hypothesis and Darwinian Medicine.
Brian Ward: Infectious Disease Specialist at the Montreal General Hospital and co-head of the Canadian National Reference Lab for Parasitology.
Cheryl Whitehorn: Teacher and Entomology Technician at The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Submission Policy

Note: The CBC does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comments, you acknowledge that CBC has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Please note that comments are moderated and published according to our submission guidelines.