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Hookworm infestation

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noun, plural: hookworm infestations

An infestation of parasitic hookworms, especially of the family Ancylostomatidae


Hookworm infestation pertains to the infestation of parasitic hookworms. It may also be called hookworm infection. However, the term infection is usually associated with microorganisms such as bacteria and viruses. Infestation is often associated with parasites such as parasitic worms and arthropods. Infestation may be ectoparasitic (external) or endoparasitic (internal). In the case of hookworms, they are regarded as endoparasites. They typically invade the intestinal walls of their host. For instance, Ancylostoma duodenale is a hookworm species that is found in the intestinal wall of human host where they feed on blood. Ancylostoma braziliense is another hookworm that infests cats (and dogs). Another species of human hookworm parasites is the Necator americanus. The infestation of Ancylostoma spp. is particularly called ancylostomiasis whereas the infestation of Necator sp. is referred to as necatoriasis.

Hookworm infestation may not show symptoms and therefore an unsuspecting host may serve as carriers. When symptoms manifests, it may be regarded as hookworm disease and one of the most common signs is the presence of iron deficiency anaemia since these hookworms feed on blood. The presence of these worms may also lead to abdominal pain, diarrhea, and weight loss.

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