SEM of the mouth & sucker of the bilharzia fluke

SEM of the mouth & sucker of the bilharzia fluke

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Credit: CNRI/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: False-colour scanning electron micrograph of the mouth (left) & sucker (centre) of the blood fluke Schistosoma mansoni, one of three species which cause Bilharzia (schistosomiasis). The larval stage of the fluke's life cycle occurs within freshwater snails; humans contract the disease when larvae released from the snails penetrate the skin of persons bathing in infected water. The adult flukes eventually settle in the intestinal blood vessels, where the release of their eggs may cause anaemia & inflammation. Additional symptoms may include diarrhoea, dysentery, enlargement of the spleen & liver, and cirrhosis of the liver. Magnification: x550 at 6x7 cm size.

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Keywords: animal, bilharzia fluke, flatworm, invertebrate, invertebrates, nature, platyhelminthes, schistosoma mansoni, schistosomiasis, wildlife, zoology

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