Coloured SEM of a schistosome parasite cercaria

Coloured SEM of a schistosome parasite cercaria

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Credit: NIBSC/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Parasite cercaria. Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of a cercaria of the parasitic fluke Schistosoma mansoni, cause of the disease bilharzia (schistosomiasis). The cercariae live in lakes and rivers, and penetrate the skin of humans in the water. They mature to their adult form in the body, settling in veins in the bladder and intestines. The females lay eggs which pass out of the body in urine and faeces. Larvae hatch after reaching water through sewage, and infect water snails, in which they develop into this form. Bilharzia is endemic in tropical countries, and can cause kidney and liver damage. It is treatable with drugs. Magnification: x78 at 6x7cm size. Magnification: x100 at 6x9cm size.

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Keywords: animal, bilharzia, cercaria, flatworm, invertebrate, invertebrates, nature, parasite, platyhelminthes, schistosoma mansoni, schistosome, schistosome cercaria, schistosomiasis, wildlife, zoology

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