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River blindness parasite life cycle

River blindness parasite life cycle

C009/6346

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Credit

CDC / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY CDC / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

River blindness life cycle. Diagram showing the life cycle of the parasitic nematode (roundworm) Onchocerca volvulus, the cause of river blindness. The larvae are transmitted to humans via the bite of Simulium sp. black flies. The larvae develop into adults in the skin, causing nodules. The adults breed and produce many larvae that spread throughout the body, including to the eyes, causing itching. When the larvae die they produce a strong immune reaction that causes inflammation. It is this inflammation that causes blindness.

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