Schistosome parasite

Schistosome parasite

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Credit: SINCLAIR STAMMERS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Schistosome parasite. Light micrograph of a cercaria of the fluke Schistosoma haematobium, the cause of the disease schistosomiasis (bilharzia). This cercarial stage lives in lakes and rivers, and penetrates the skin of humans in the water. It matures to the adult form, then migrates to the veins surrounding the bladder. Here the females lay eggs which pass out of the body in the urine and contaminate the local water supply. Larvae hatching from the eggs infect water snails, in which they develop into this stage. Untreated schistosomiasis causes kidney and liver damage. Differential interference contrast. Magnification unknown.

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Keywords: animal, bilharzia, cercaria, cercarial, contrast, differential interference, flatworm, fluke, free-swimming, invertebrate, invertebrates, light micrograph, nature, parasite, parasitic, pathogen, pathogenic, platyhelminthes, schistosoma haematobium, schistosomiasis, wildlife, zoology

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