Caption: False-colour scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of the head & mouth parts of a blood fluke, Schistosoma mansoni, the cause of schistosomiasis, commonly known as bilharzia. The adults normally live in pairs (male & female) in blood vessels of the small intestine, causing dysentery & diarrhoea. Their spiked eggs cause anaemia, inflammation & tissue scarring. The larvae develop in freshwater snails (intermediate host) & are released into the water. Humans (final host) are infected while bathing or working in contaminated water. S. mansoni is widespread in Africa, the West Indies, and South & Central America. Magnification: x250 at 35mm size.
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