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Ascaris suum

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A parasitic roundworm of certain vertebrates, particularly pigs


Ascaris suum is a species of parasitic nematode usually found in domestic pigs, as well as few other animals. It causes ascariasis in pigs. Cross infection may be possible. It may also infect humans, presumably as result of handling pig manure. A large number of these roundworms present in the intestine may cause intestinal obstruction. The species belongs to the family of Ascarididae, Phylum Nematoda.

The species may grow up to 40 cm in length. In particular, the males are typically 15 – 31 cm in length whereas the females range from 20 to 49 cm long. The males are also slender. They are about 2 to 4 mm wide whereas the females are about 3 to 6 mm in diameter. The fertilized eggs are ovoid in shape and with thick outer layer. They may range from 45 to 75 micrometer in length and 35 to 50 micrometer in width.

Word origin: Greek askarís (“an intestinal worm”)

Scientific classification:

  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Nematoda
  • Class: Secernentea
  • Order: Ascaridida
  • Family: Ascarididae
  • Genus: Ascaris
  • Species: Ascaris suum [Goeze, 1782]

Other common name(s):

  • roundworm of pigs

See also: