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(Enterobius vermicularis), a roundworm of the suborder Oxyurata that parasitizes humans. The cuticle forms a swelling, or vesicle, near the head. The mouth is surrounded by three lips and opens into the esophagus, which is enlarged toward the end. The female is 9–12 mm long and has a narrow posterior end. The male measures 2–5 mm in length; the posterior part of the body ends bluntly and is greatly bent. The colorless eggs are about 0.05 mm long.
Pinworms live in the terminal part of the small intestine and throughout the large intestine. Mature females migrate outside the anus and, after depositing their eggs (about 12,000), they die. A person becomes infected by swallowing the eggs. Itching occurs as the pinworm leaves the body and deposits its eggs. Severe infestation may cause nervous and gastrointestinal disorders. A rash may develop near the perineum. Children may experience nightmares, engage in masturbation, and contract leukorrhea. The disease caused by pinworms, enterobiasis, is prolonged because of auto-infection (the life span of a pinworm is about one month).
REFERENCEVasil’kova, Z. G. Osnovnye gel’mintozy cheloveka i bor’ba s nimi, 2nd ed. Moscow, 1953.
B. E. BYKHOVSKII