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Heterophyes heterophyes

Diagnostic Form:

Diagnosis is done by the ova and parasite examination of stool. The examination can be difficult when adult worms are not present because the eggs are hard to distinguish from C.sinensis.

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Geographic Prevalence:

Common in North Africa, Asia Minor, Taiwan, Japan,China, Korea and the Phillipines.

 

Disease It Causes And The Clinical Symptoms:

The worms cause an inflammatory reaction at the site of contact with the host intestine. When the infection is heavy the inflammatory reaction can be severe enough to induce mucosal diarrhea due to the dammage to the intestinal mucosal surface. Intestinal pain will occur. Eggs can enter the blood and lymph vascular system where they can be carried to ectopic sites throughout the body. The eggs can then cause tissue reactions in the heart that can lead to heart failure, or can find their way to the brain or spinal cord where neurological disorders and/or death can be the end result.


Location In The Host:

Intestine and can migrate to other ectopic sites such as the heart and brain to produce heart pathology and brain pathology.

 

Primary Vector:

None – snail is the intermediate host to the fish and the fish is the intermediate host to humans and other fish eating animals. In Eygypt the Pirenella conica snail serves as the intermediate host while in Japan the Cerithidia cingula snail is the intermediate host. Basically the eggs passed in the feces contain miracidium that hatch upon the ingestion of the egg by the snail. Inside the snails gut the miracidium becomes a sporocyst which begin to produce rediae. The rediae produce cercariae which exit the snail, swim to the surface and fall back down. While falling down they come into contact with fish and penetrate the epithelium of the fish. The cercariae will then encyst in the muscle of the fish. The ingestion of infected fish by the definitive host (humans, and any other fish ingesting animal) occurs by eating the uncooked or improperly cooked fish.

 

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Test Recommended For Detection/Diagnosis:

Diagnosis is done by the ova and parasite examination of stool. The examination can be difficult when adult worms are not present because the eggs are hard to distinguish from C.sinensis.

 

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