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Paragonimus westermani

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A trematode species that causes paragonimiasis, and is commonly called lung fluke


Paragonimus westermani is a species of the family Torglotrematidae of the class Trematoda. Trematodes, also called flukes, belong to the phylum of flatworms, Platyhelminthes. Most of the trematodes are parasitic worms utilizing an intermediate host (e.g. snails) and definitive hosts (e.g. humans and other vertebrates). They may be classified as tissue flukes or blood flukes depending on the system of the vertebrate host that they infest. Tissue flukes include Paragonimus westermani, Fasciola hepatica, and Clonorchis sinensis.

The adult Paragonimus westermani resembles a coffee bean based on their thick and short size (about 7.5 to 12 mm by 4 to 6 mm), reddish brown color, and shape. Its distinctive features are the presence of singly-spaced spines and a six-loved ovary. The egg is yellow-brown in color, ovoid, with an operculum, and measures to 80 to 118 μm by 48 to 60 μm 1

The species is endemic in Far East and the Southeast Asia. In humans, it can cause a sub-acute to chronic inflammatory disease of the lung. The infestation of Paragonimus westermani (and other Paragonimus spp.) is referred to as paragonimiasis.

Scientific classification:

  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Platyhelminthes
  • Class: Trematoda
  • Order: Plagiorchiida
  • Family: Troglotrematidae
  • Genus: Paragonimus
  • Species: P. westermani [Kerbert, 1878]

Other common name(s):

  • Japanese Lung fluke
  • Oriental Lung fluke

See also:

1 Fuller, D. 2012. "" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Retrieved from [[1]].