Scolex (head) of a pork tapeworm, Taenia solium

Scolex (head) of a pork tapeworm, Taenia solium

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Caption: Tapeworm head. Light micrograph of the scolex (head) of the adult pork tapeworm, Taenia solium. At top is a rosette of hooks; at lower left and right are rounded suckers. The hooks and suckers are the means by which the tapeworm attaches itself to the intestinal walls of its host. Humans are the main host of this parasite, which infects some 4 million people worldwide. Tapeworms have no digestive systems of their own but absorb directly through their skin the food ingested and broken down by the host. Adult tapeworms may grow 5-10 metres in length. They may cause diarrhoea, weight loss, abdominal discomfort. Treatment is with ant- helmintic drugs. Magnification: x32 at 6x6cm size.

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Keywords: animal, disease, flatworm, invertebrate, invertebrates, light micrograph, nature, parasite, platyhelminthes, pork, scolex, taenia solium, tapeworm, wildlife, zoology

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