Ascariasis is an infection caused by the parasitic roundworms Ascaris lumbricoides. Read this lesson to learn what the symptoms of an infection are and how it can be treated.
What Is Ascariasis?
Ascariasis is an infection in humans caused by parasitic roundworms called Ascaris lumbricoides. This infection is relatively common – the World Health Organization estimates that approximately 1 billion people suffer from Ascariasis worldwide.
That’s about 1 infection in every 7 people!Humans become infected by ingesting eggs through consumption of contaminated food or water. Infections are more commonly found in areas with poor sanitation, especially in tropical and sub-tropical environments.
Once eggs are ingested, they hatch in the small intestines then larvae move into the bloodstream and relocate to the lungs, where they stay until they fully mature. Once they reach maturity, they are coughed up and swallowed, where they return to the stomach and small intestines and lay eggs. Some eggs are then excreted in feces and some continue the life cycle within the host, repeating the process.
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