Posts tagged schistosomiasis

Life Cycle of Liver Fluke
The life cycle of the fluke that causes schistosomiasis has a very similar life cycle, except where the liver fluke enters and matures within the sheep liver, the schistosome enters the human skin, and matures within the mesenteric veins, though they can easily move between tissues and locations.
Animal Parasites and Human Disease. Asa C. Chandler, 1918.

Life Cycle of Liver Fluke

The life cycle of the fluke that causes schistosomiasis has a very similar life cycle, except where the liver fluke enters and matures within the sheep liver, the schistosome enters the human skin, and matures within the mesenteric veins, though they can easily move between tissues and locations.

Animal Parasites and Human Disease. Asa C. Chandler, 1918.

Bilharziosis Roundworm -Schistosomum haematobium
For all the awful things bilharziosis (or schistosomiasis, depending on your region of the world) does, their reproduction is almost endearing. The female is a “normal”, worm-like shape, but the male is shaped almost like a boat or trough. Once the nematodes reach adulthood, they seek out another of their kind (as they can only reproduce sexually), and pair up. Once paired up, the female nestles into the trough of the male, and the male takes over feeding for both of them. Though they never fully merge (like the anglerfish male does with the female), they can remain together for years, with the female producing their eggs, and the male feeding them both. It’s almost cute.
Bilharziosis. Frank Cole Madden, 1907.

Bilharziosis Roundworm -Schistosomum haematobium

For all the awful things bilharziosis (or schistosomiasis, depending on your region of the world) does, their reproduction is almost endearing. The female is a “normal”, worm-like shape, but the male is shaped almost like a boat or trough. Once the nematodes reach adulthood, they seek out another of their kind (as they can only reproduce sexually), and pair up. Once paired up, the female nestles into the trough of the male, and the male takes over feeding for both of them. Though they never fully merge (like the anglerfish male does with the female), they can remain together for years, with the female producing their eggs, and the male feeding them both. It’s almost cute.

Bilharziosis. Frank Cole Madden, 1907.

National Geographic: Wormlike Parasite Detected in Ancient Mummies

Since the discovery of parasite eggs on mummies in the 1920s, scientists have suspected that the Nubians might have been infected by schistosomiasis. Nubia was a former African kingdom that existed from about A.D. 250 to 1400 in what is now northern Sudan.

But researchers generally assumed that the disease in Nubians had been caused by S. haematobium, a close cousin of S. mansoni that causes similar symptoms but that doesn’t require irrigation channels to thrive.

"The snail that transmits S. haematobium thrives better in water that’s moving and well oxygenated and that is not very polluted, whereas the S. mansoni snail does very well in water that’s been standing around and has more yuck in it,” said study first author Amber Campbell Hibbs, who conducted the study while at Emory.

Campbell Hibbs and colleagues examined hundreds of naturally mummified Nubian mummies.

"What happened is they were buried, and it’s so dry that you usually get mummification of the external skin, and sometimes some of the organs."

An analysis of the mummified skin revealed traces of proteins belonging to S. mansoni—the first proof that the ancient Nubians, or any ancient civilization, were afflicted by schistosomiasis.