Increasing wisdom and ingenuity are required if we are to master our environment and cope with the myriad of organisms that affect our existence. Not the least of these organisms are the parasites and pathogens which can be found in all animals. The ecological implications of parasitism are obvious, and the interrelationships among different organisms within the same host are fascinating, but more knowledge and understanding are needed.
The symposium are held to stimulate discussion of the significance of ecological problems presented by parasites and to develop means of attacking some of these problems. The diversity of parasitism from protozoa to anthropods was emphasized and the speakers and topics were selected to interest those in various biological disciplines and professions. Organized by the Department of Parasitology in the School of Hygiene of the University of Toronto, and held at Toronto in February 1970, the symposium was an unqualified success. The enthusiastic interest, indicated by the attendance of over three hundred people from seven countries, and numerous requests for copies of the proceedings led to the publication in this volume of the twelve papers presented at the symposium.
The opening remarks of the leader of the discussion which follow each paper have been included and a complete bibliography is provided for each topic. The contributors are leading specialists in their fields; their papers present the results of the most recent research and assemble and review the scattered literature on each topic. The text is illustrated throughout with diagrams and photographs.
Parasitism and associated phenomena are excellent examples of problems requiring the interdisciplinary approach taken by the symposium. The results of such an approach are useful in a wide variety of disciplines: microbiology, invertebrate zoology, entomology, and tropical medicine, as well as parasitology.