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Schistosoma, blood fluke

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Taxonomic lineage

cellular organisms - Eukaryota - Fungi/Metazoa group - Metazoa - Eumetazoa - Bilateria - Acoelomata - Platyhelminthes - Trematoda - Digenea - Strigeidida - Schistosomatoidea - Schistosomatidae - Schistosoma

General information

[shis"-, skis" to-so-miə'-sis], from the Greek - skhistos (split) and soma (body)
Originally thought a single organism with a split body, the parasite was eventually recognized as having male and female forms.
Schistosomiasis, which leads to chronic hepatic and intestinal fibrosis of the urinary tract, Swas first identified in Egypt in 1851 by German pathologist Theodor Bilharz and is also called bilharzia.

Schistosoma species are causative agents of a tropical disease schistosomiasis or bilharzia. Approximately 160 million persons throughout the world are infected, particularly in Africa, the Middle East, South America, and Southeast Asia by three main species: S. mansoni, S. japonicum, and S. haematobium.

Of the ~2700 genera of Digenean parasites, the 13 that comprise the Schistosomatidae are different in the following ways:

No routine laboratory techniques were developed so far for culturing schistosomes through their complete life cycle in vitro as well as for expressing transgenes for targeted gene silencing and other purposes. Also, there are no schistosome cell lines. Therefore, analysis of schistosome-host interactions are very challenging and is confined mostly to traditional parasitological techniques.

Schistosoma life cycle

Back to top Nemose


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Back to top Nemose