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Shistosoma Parasite: Cause of Disease

What is - definition

Schistosomiasis, also known as bilharziasis, is a disease caused by human parasites, the trematodes, of the genus Schistosoma.

Disease Causers

There are three types of worms: Schistosoma haematobium, which causes bladder schistosomiasis, which exists in Africa, Australia, Asia and Southern Europe; O Schistosoma japonicum (causes katayama disease) found in China, Japan, the Philippines and Taiwan, and the Schistosoma Mansoni, responsible for the cause of intestinal schistosomiasis; The latter is found in Central America, India, the Antilles and Brazil.

Evolutionary cycle summary

The evolutionary cycle of this parasite goes through two phases: 1st) development of the larva after penetrating some types of mollusks that live in humid places; 2) occurs after the abandonment of these hosts, which, free can penetrate the man through the skin. Penetration occurs in humid places such as streams, ponds, streams, etc.

When this parasite begins to inhabit within the definitive host, it can attach itself to the liver, gall bladder, bowel or bladder of man, thus causing various organ problems.


The most common symptoms of schistosomiasis are diarrhea, fevers, cramps, headaches, nausea, dizziness, drowsiness, weight loss, hardening and swelling of the liver, and bleeding that causes vomiting and darkened stools. When these symptoms arise, the individual must immediately seek medical attention so that all necessary procedures are taken. As with any other health problem, self-medication should not be adopted by the patient.

Children are the hardest hit by this parasite because they are most vulnerable to playing in humid places without knowing that there may be these parasites waiting for a host. Adults commonly protect themselves with the use of rubber boots.


The fight against this disease necessarily involves basic sanitation measures. Waters and sewage systems should always be treated. Snails, intermediate hosts of the parasite, should be eliminated. When entering standing or dirty water, there should be foot protection with rubber boots.

IMPORTANT: The information on this page is only a source for research and school work. Therefore, they should not be used for medical advice. To do so, see a doctor for advice and proper treatment.


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