nounZoology & Medicine
A parasitic flatworm which needs two hosts to complete its life cycle. The immature form infests freshwater snails and the adult lives in the blood vessels of birds and mammals, causing bilharzia in humans. Also called blood fluke.
- Genus Schistosoma, subclass Digenea, class Trematoda.
- By examining schistosomes that infect human hosts living near separate watercourses within a single village, it should be possible to determine the degree to which the parasite population is genetically subdivided.
- Activities in remote areas increase the chance of exposure to insect vectors and fresh-water lakes and streams that may harbor schistosomes or leptospires.
- These are called schistosomes and they cause a disease known as bilharzia (schistosomiasis).
Early 20th century: from modern Latin Schistosoma, from Greek skhistos 'divided' + sōma 'body'.
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