Whipworm

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Whipworm

 

(Trichocephalus trichiurus), a parasitic round-worm, with a gray or reddish body. It is threadlike toward the front, and toward the back it is thickened and, in the male, curled up in a spiral. The length of the male is from 30 to 40 mm and that of the female is from 35 to 50 mm. The whipworm lives parasitically in the human intestines (in the blind gut and, less frequently, in the large intestine, the vermiform appendix, or the rectum). It attaches itself to the wall of the intestine by penetrating the mucous membrane with its thin front end and causes the disease trichuriasis. The whipworm develops without an intermediary host. Outside of the human body the larva develops over a period ranging from 11 to 120 days (depending on the temperature) inside an egg that is lemon-shaped and has plugs at both poles. When the egg lands in the intestines, the larva comes out of the egg and attaches itself to the wall of the intestine.

REFERENCE

Pod’iapol’skaia, V. P., and V. F. Kapustin. Glistnye bolezni cheloveka, 3rd ed. Moscow, 1958.

S. S. SHUL’MAN

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Professor Richard Grencis, senior author from The University of Manchester said that although whipworms can be detrimental to human health and economic growth in some regions, they are also important in defining human immune system's 'set point' and ensuring we make the right level of immune response during disease.
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