Ancyclostomiasis is a disease caused by hookworm infestation. It is one of the helminthiases because the causative agent involved, which is Ancylostoma, is a helminth. The genus Ancylostoma is comprised of hookworms characterized by pairs of sharp teeth on their buccal cavity that they use to attach to the intestinal wall of the host. These worms are parasitic. They feed on the blood of the host.
The disease is characterized by anaemia, dyspepsia, abdominal swelling, and eosinophilia. Since the site of entry of Ancylostoma is an exposed skin of the host, e.g. the feet, the larvae creeping their way into their host can cause Ancylostoma dermatitis. This is when the larvae bore through the exposed skin and make their way into the lungs to be swallowed into the digestive system and reach the intestines. The part of the skin being penetrating by the larvae may trigger an allergic reaction.
Some of the medically important Ancylostoma species causing ancylostosomiasis are as follows:
- Ancylostoma duodenale (commonly infests humans)
- Ancylostoma braziliense (commonly infests cats)
- Ancylostoma caninum (commonly infests dogs)
- Ancylostoma ceylanicum
- Ancylostoma pluridentatum
- Ancylostoma tubaeforme
- miner's anaemia
- tunnel disease
- brickmaker's anaemia
- Egyptian chlorosis