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hexacanth

Pronunciation: hek'sa-kanth

Definition: The motile six-hooked first-stage larva of cyclophyllidean cestodes; it emerges from the egg and actively claws its way through the intermediate host's intestine before development into the next larval stage; the hexacanth of Taenia saginata, which penetrates the intestine of a cow that ingested the egg, then forms a cysticercus in the muscles of the intermediate host.

Synonym(s): oncosphere

[hexa- + G. akantha, hook or thorn]

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