A Body Cavity That Most Animals Possess Are Called General Overview of Medical Helminthology and Its Importance to Man

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General Overview of Medical Helminthology and Its Importance to Man

According to the method of development, parasites are divided into biohelminthes and geohelminthes. Geohelminthes develop without intermediate hosts. Soil is the best environment for their egg development. Humans are infected by contaminated fruits and vegetables containing geohelminthe eggs (for example, Ascaris lumbricoideus). Biohelminthes have a complete life with intermediate hosts. There are tropical connections between major and intermediate hosts (eg, Taenia solium).

General Characteristics of Flatworms (Phylum Plathelminthes)

The flatworms (phylum platyhelminthes) have some 12,200 species. These ribbon-shaped, soft-bodied animals are also so called because they flatten dorsoventrally, from top to bottom. Flatworms are among the simplest of the two-legged animals, but they have a distinct head at the front end. Their bodies are strong: the only space inside is the stomach cavity. Flatworms are acoelomates. Acoelomates are the few mammals that have no body cavity other than a digestive system.

Phylum Plathelminthes includes two classes:

1. class Trematoda

2. class Cestoda

General characteristics of the class Trematoda (Flukes):

1. Expanded dorsoventrally (like a leaf).

2. Undivided

3. The body is covered by the cuticle

4. Organs of fixation: Oral cavity, ventral sucker

5. Organs and systems of flatworms: digestive system, excretory system, nervous system, reproductive system: Trematodes are hermaphrodites except genus schistosoma.

6. Life cycle is passed in two stages (change of hosts) and has sexual and asexual stages.

Blood Flukes

Genus Schistosoma (S.haematobium, S.mansoni, S.japonicum), which affects the population of Asia, Africa, Latin America, and the Middle East. Three species of Schistosomiasis cause the disease called schistosomiasis.

Localization

Organs of the intestine, liver, bladder. Schistosoma mansoni causes Hepatosplenic Schistosomiasis, Schistosoma japonicum causes Hepatosplenic Schistosomiasis and Schistosoma haematobium causes urinary Schistosomiasis. Infection is transmitted through the skin of larvae (cercariae) from snail hosts. Its infectious stage is Cercariae, the main host is humans, the intermediate host is snails and the mode of transmission is through skin penetration.

Clinical manifestations

In Hepatosplenic Schistosomiasis, Eosinophilia, granulomatous polyps in the colon, fever, anorexia, weight loss, anemia, portal hypertension; dysentery and cirrhosis of the liver; pruritus skin rash. Eggs return through the transport system to the liver, causing hepatomegaly, liver inflammation. Clinical manifestations of urinary schistosomiasis: eosinophilia, hematuria, terminal dysuria (pain, difficulty at the end of urination); Obstruction of urinary flow.

Laboratory diagnosis of Hepatosplenic Schistosomiasis is the determination of cells with external spine in the intestines. And for Schistosomiasis urine is eggs with a backbone in the urine.

Treatment is by Praziquantel administration. But if the brain is affected or the disease becomes severe, we can give corticosteroids.

Prevention includes proper disposal of human waste and elimination of snail host when possible. Swimming in confined areas should be avoided.

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