Polarized Light Microscopy Digital Image Gallery

Human Whipworm (Trichuris trichiura) Eggs

Trichuris trichiura is the species of whipworm that is primarily found in humans. The parasites, which exhibit a tapered whip-like shape in their adult form, live in the hostís large intestine with their thin anterior ends implanted in the intestinal lining. They may remain there for several years, feeding upon tissue secretions and producing thousands of eggs daily that are excreted with bodily wastes. It is through the consumption of these eggs, which become infective after approximately three weeks, that new infections occur. Thus, it is in areas where sanitation is poor that the greatest number of outbreaks occur. Also, children are much more likely to suffer from whipworm infections than adults because they often spend time playing in dirt and may incidentally ingest contaminated soil.

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