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Enterobius vermicularis

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Definition

noun

Human pinworm that inhabits the rectum of its host


Supplement

Enterobius vermicularis (formerly Oxyurias vermicularis) belongs to the family Oxyuridae of the phylum Nematoda. It is a roundworm characterized by being small, whitish in color, and the adults inhabiting the rectum of the human host. They are commonly called pinworms, threadworms, or seatworms. They are very small compared with other nematodes. The female adult ranges from 8 to 13 mm in length. The male adult ranges from 2 to 5 mm in length. Therefore, the male is shorter than the female adult pinworm. The female pinworm can also be characterized by its sharply pointed posterior end. At night, the female pinworm may be seen migrating from the anal orifice to lay eggs. This causes an intense pruritis ani to its human host. The pinworm egg typically measures 50-60 μm by 20-30 μm, ovoid in shape, and has a thick shell flattened on one side. 1


Scientific classification:

  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Nematoda
  • Class: Secernentea
  • Order: Oxyurida
  • Family: Oxyuridae
  • Genus: Enterobius
  • Species: E. vermicularis[Linnaeus, 1758]

Common name(s):

  • pinworm
  • threadworm
  • seatworm

See also:


Reference(s):
1 Gutiérrez, Y. (2000). Diagnostic pathology of parasitic infections with clinical correlations (2nd ed.). Oxford University Press.