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People, Parasites, and PlowsharesLearning From Our Body's Most Terrifying Invaders$
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Dickson Despommier

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780231161947

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231161947.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM COLUMBIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.columbia.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Minnesota Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CUPSO for personal use.date: 22 September 2021

The Unholy Trinity

The Unholy Trinity

Ascaris lumbricoides, Trichuris trichiura, and the Hookworms

(p.89) 5 The Unholy Trinity
People, Parasites, and Plowshares

Dickson D. Despommier

William C. Campbell

Columbia University Press

This chapter examines two types of round worms, Ascaris lumbricoides and Trichuris trichiura. Ascaris lumbricoides is the giant roundworm of humans, growing up to 35 cm long. The life cycle of this worm begins when food and water contaminated with the embryonated egg of ascaris is ingested. Once swallowed, it passes through the stomach and enters the lumen of the small intestine. Once it hatches, the larvae will penetrate the wall of the small intestine and move towards the liver. There, it will feed voraciously on liver cells until it grows. In the same way with ascaris, the Trichuris trichiura—a round worm shaped like a whip—penetrates the body of its host through ingestion. But unlike ascaris, trichuris resides in the large intestine. When the adult female worms mature, they begin to embed their head in the tissue of the intestine and lay eggs.

Keywords:   Ascaris lumbricoides, Trichuris trichiura, roundworm, small intestine, large intestine, parasitic infection

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