There are three main species of these trematode worms (flukes) -- Schistosoma haematobium, Schistosoma japonicum, and Schistosoma mansoni -- that produce disease in humans. The larval forms of the parasite live in freshwater snails. The cercaria (form of the parasite) is liberated from the snail burrow into skin, transforms to the schistosomulum stage, and migrates to the urinary tract (S. haematobium), liver or intestine (S. japonicum, S.mansoni) where the adult worms develop. Eggs are shed into the urinary tract or the intestine and hatch to form miracidia (yet another form of the parasite) which then infect snails, completing the life cycle of the parasite.
Reviewed on 12/11/2018
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