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Schistosoma mekongi

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A schistosome species that causes schistosomiasis mekongi, and is endemic to the Mekong River basin in Cambodia


Schistosoma is a genus belonging to class Trematoda of phylum Platyhelminthes. Members of this genus are commonly called schistosomes or blood flukes. One of the distinctive features of schistosomes is their sexual dimorphism such that the males are females differ in size or length and the males have a gynecophore to carry their female mate. The genus includes species such as S. japonicum, S. spindale, S. haematobium, S. indicum, S. intercalatum, S. malayensis, S. mansoni, and S. mekongi.

S. mekongi is a Mekong schistosome. It is a species described from the Mekong delta near Khong island in Southern Laos and Northern Cambodia. S. mekongi is the causative agent of schistosomiasis mekongi. This parasitic worm can infest humans. The infection rates are highest for ages 7 to 15. Dogs appear to be the chief reservoir host. The intermediate host snail is the 3 mm-long operculid snail, Neotricula aperta. Pathology is similar to but generally less severe than that of schistosomiasis japonicum.

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