Skip to Content
Medical Term:


Pronunciation: skis'to-so'ma


A genus of digenetic trematodes, including the important blood flukes of humans and domestic animals, which cause schistosomiasis; characterized by elongate shape, by marked sexual dimorphism, by their unusual location in the smaller blood vessels of their host, and by use of water snails as intermediate hosts. Some of the avian schistosome species cause swimmer's itch or cercarial dermatitis in North America and elsewhere. Humans are incidental hosts, so parasites do not mature; causes skin irritation due to allergic reaction to the parasite.

[schisto- + G. soma, body]

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