hookworm

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hookworm,

any of a number of bloodsucking nematodes in the phylum NematodaNematoda
, phylum consisting of about 12,000 known species, and many more predicted species, of worms (commonly known as roundworms or threadworms). Nematodes live in the soil and other terrestrial habitats as well as in freshwater and marine environments; some live on the deep
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, order Strongiloidae that live as parasites in humans and other mammals and attach themselves to the host's intestines by means of hooks. Hookworm infection in humans is caused by infestation with Ancylostoma duodenale (the European species) or with Necator americanus (the American species). It is found in tropical and subtropical climates, especially where the inhabitants do not wear shoes or stockings and where the soil is contaminated by human excrement. The larva of the hookworm, living in moist soil or mud, easily penetrates the exposed skin, usually the sole of the foot, and is then carried by the blood to the lungs. An early sign of hookworm infestation is a dermatitis at the site of entry, known as ground itch. As the larva passes through the lungs, it causes episodes of coughing with bloody sputum. Raised with the mucus into the mouth, the larva is then swallowed. It may also be swallowed with polluted drinking water or with unclean vegetables eaten raw. By means of its hooks the larva attaches itself to the upper portion of the small intestine, where it nourishes itself on the blood of its host. The larva matures and the female produces eggs, as many as 30,000 per day, that are passed from the intestine with the feces, usually to contaminate the soil still further. The drain on the blood of the host results in anemia. This, together with the resulting abdominal pain and diarrhea, causes general debility. Hookworm is treated with drugs, notably tetrachloroethylene, that loosen and destroy the parasite, as well as with specifics for the anemia and abdominal symptoms. Incidence of this disease, which was once seriously prevalent, has been much reduced by improved sanitation and the wearing of shoes.

hookworm

[′hu̇k‚wərm]
(invertebrate zoology)
The common name for parasitic roundworms composing the family Ancylostomidae.

hookworm

any parasitic blood-sucking nematode worm of the family Ancylostomatidae, esp Ancylostoma duodenale or Necator americanus, both of which cause disease. They have hooked mouthparts and enter their hosts by boring through the skin
References in periodicals archive ?
Carroll SM, Grove D (1984b) Parasitological, hematologic, and immunologic responses in acute and chronic infections in dogs with Ancylostoma ceylanicum: A model of human hookworm infection.
Jiraanankul V, Aphijirawat W, Mungthin M, Khositnithikul R, Rangsin R, Traub RJ, Piyaraj P, Naaglor T, Taamasri P, Leelayoova S (2011) Incidence and risk factors of hookworm infection in a rural community of central Thailand.
However, Sex preponderance was not seen with hookworm infection.
This finding suggests that ascariasis might be the disease of the urban and hookworm infection is the disease of rural area.
Though wearing of shoes was not considered as a variable in the analysis, it can also contribute to high prevalence of hookworm infection [21].
When prescribed as a single dose for treating hookworm infection, it is better than mebendazole.
Heavy hookworm infections consistently have been reported to be associated with anemia [9,10].
Prevalences of roundworm and whipworm infections usually peaked among children 5-14 years of age; hookworm infections peaked in middle-aged age groups in surveys 1 and 2 and in older age groups in survey 3.
8S region have been used to detect and characterize hookworm infections directly from eggs in human and animal feces (6,10,16,17).
However, the overall warmer climate, including warmer winters, might have created the conditions for zoonotic hookworm infections in humans in western Europe (10).
Additionally, while stool DR remains a commonly used diagnostic modality for hookworm infection, incidence of false negatives on a single stool sample is high, especially in early infection, and thus a negative stool DR cannot be relied on completely.