DENNIS KUNKEL MICROSCOPY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DENNIS KUNKEL MICROSCOPY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of cattle hookworm (Bunostomum phlebotomum). The adult nematode parasites are small cylindrical roundworms 15-25mm long. The genus Bunostomum has pairs of teeth cutting plates on the ventral margin of the buccal capsule. The posterior end of the male worm is equipped with a characteristic copulatory bursa, used to catch and hold the female nematode during mating. Adults attach to the mucosa of the small intestine and suck blood. After mating the eggs are passed out through the faeces and develop in to rhabditiform larvae. These larvae can re-penetrate the skin of cattle or deer or can be ingested directly into the intestine. Once the larvae penetrate the skin they can move into the blood vessels and then into the lungs. There they migrate up the trachea and are swallowed. Once in the intestine they attach to the mucosa and moult into adults. Magnification x30 when shortest axis printed at 25 mililmetres.
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