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Dracunculus medinensis

 

Definition: a species of skin-infecting, 36? nematodes, formerly incorrectly classed as Filaria; adult worms live anywhere in the body of humans and various semiaquatic mammals; the females migrate along fascial planes to subcutaneous tissues, where troublesome chronic ulcers are formed in the skin; when the host enters water, larvae are discharged from the ulcers, from which the head of the female worm protrudes; these larvae, if ingested by Cyclops species, develop in the intermediate host to the infective stage; humans and various animals contract the infection from accidental ingestion of infected Cyclops in drinking water. Popularly known as guinea, Medina, serpent, or dragon worm, and frequently thought to be the “fiery serpent” that plagued the Israelites.

[L. of Medina]

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© Copyright 2017 Wolters Kluwer. All Rights Reserved. Review Date: Sep 19, 2016.
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