Nematodes: What Is It, Characteristics Of Roundworms, How To Fight

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Nematodes: What Is It, Characteristics Of Roundworms, How To Fight
Nematodes: What Is It, Characteristics Of Roundworms, How To Fight

Video: Nematodes: What Is It, Characteristics Of Roundworms, How To Fight

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Video: Diagnostic Features of Intestinal Nematodes 2023, February

Nematodes belong to the class of roundworms. The group is the second largest among the representatives of the multicellular diversity of living things on our planet. Let's take a closer look at what nematodes are, what is the general characteristic of roundworms.


  • 1 Details about nematodes

    1.1 Features of the structure and life cycle

  • 2 Parasitic lifestyle

    • 2.1 Nematodes on plants
    • 2.2 On animals
    • 2.3 Nematodes in humans
  • 3 Methods and methods of treatment
  • 4 Preventive measures

Details about nematodes

Roundworm species number over 24 thousand different nematodes. This includes free-living small worms as well as parasites. Leading biologists say there are actually many more species. Most of the nematodes that have been described are parasites.

There are nematodes that parasitize plants (for example, potatoes or strawberries), as well as many others.

Features of the structure and life cycle

By their structure, all types of nematodes can be attributed to simple organisms.

Brief characteristics of nematodes:

  • an adult consists of many somatic and those cells that provide a reproduction system for their own kind;
  • the gastrointestinal tract of the parasite starts from the oral cavity, is located throughout the body and ends with the anus in the tail region;
  • nematodes have a digestive, nervous, excretory and reproductive system;
  • the circulatory and respiratory systems are not distinguished;
  • the worm can be up to 8 meters long.

Some types of nematodes are viviparous, but the vast majority of worms lay eggs. Of these, after a certain time, larvae will appear. This stage sometimes occurs directly in the reproductive system in females (this type is called ovoviviparous). Eggs with larvae are formed after the male completes the act of fertilization, which occurs by introducing sperm into the female's reproductive tract.

Roundworms - human parasites and not only, are distinguished by an amazing ability to adapt to the conditions of the living environment, high growth rate, speed of movement and a simple life cycle.

Worms can choose any habitat for themselves - land, water, the human body. Based on the conditions where worms live, several types of them can be distinguished - geonematodes and aquanematodes.

Parasitic lifestyle

Let us consider in more detail the nematodes parasitizing humans, animals and plants - what is it.


Each type of roundworm has an individual feature of the structure and development cycle, a completely different way of life. This is influenced by the type to which these or those individuals of nematodes belong.

Nematodes on plants

Parasites that have chosen plants as their habitat have a very specific life cycle. They develop in a fickle environment. Once in the external environment, plant nematodes are forced to get to the soil. Only in the ground can they lay eggs, from which the larvae emerge.

On animals

For round nematodes parasitizing animals, a more complicated cycle is characteristic. One of the distinguishing features is high fertility. Development occurs in two ways - with or without the presence of an intermediate host.

If development occurs according to the first method, then the parasite will not have a period of self-feeding. All stages of life are characterized by nutrition at the expense of the host.

Nematodes in humans

Consider the most common nematodes in humans and helminthic diseases with them.


The causative agent of an unpleasant disease called ascariasis. The disease is very common - both adults and children are sick.

Roundworms can grow from 20 to 40 cm, the body of the worm is cylindrical and tapers towards the end. Refers to such types of geohelminths that live and feed on humans. Eggs that have undergone fertilization come out with feces, and for subsequent development they must get into the soil.


One of the causative agents of enterobiasis is a children's pinworm. Everyone can become infected with it, but most often children are infected with pinworms.

From itself the parasite is a small white worm. It can grow up to 10 mm, has a straight body structure, ending with a sharp tip. This type of nematode lives in the lower part of the small intestine, feeds on the substances that fill it. There is no intermediate owner.


A parasitic disease called trichocephalosis is common. This ailment is caused by a human whipworm. The habitat is the small intestine and the wide upper section. The parasite lives only in people, does not change the host. For the full development cycle, the nematode leaves the host.


Nematodes occur in humans after contact with carrier animals, ingestion of agricultural products that have not undergone the necessary processing.

Not observing hygiene rules, you can also become infected with nematodosis.


Infection is obtained from one type of nematode - strongyloids. Ankylostoma is a fairly ancient disease known since the times of Ancient Egypt. In another way, the disease is called African cachexia, Egyptian chlorosis, anemia of miners.


Methods and methods of treatment

Having found symptoms that indicate the possible presence of a worm in the body, it is necessary to consult a specialist for confirmation of the diagnosis and the necessary treatment.

Doctors prescribe medication and calculate the dose based on the patient's weight. Usually, when taking anthelmintic drugs, you need to know the exact dose

Oxygen therapy is often used to combat parasites. Treatment consists in injecting pure oxygen into the intestinal section. Some parasites die with this method of treatment and come out with waste.

The widespread use of ruminator preparations for nematodes - magnesium sulfate, Glauber's salt or containing plants (cassia holly, rhubarb).

The remedy for worms is often replaced with recipes common in traditional medicine. There are a number of plants that have been found to have anthelmintic properties. They are found in condiments and spices.

Recipes using Bogorodskaya grass, wormwood, tansy flowers are effective.


Preventive measures

Nematodes and other helminthic diseases are always more difficult to treat than to prevent. Prevention of roundworm infection is possible if the following rules are observed.

  1. It is necessary to maintain cleanliness in the premises, in personal plots.
  2. If there are pets, then you need to clean up the excrement in a timely manner.
  3. It is necessary to wipe the dust regularly. You can use ultraviolet paws to disinfect premises.
  4. On the street, sand is mixed in sandboxes to ensure access to the rays of the sun.
  5. To carry out prophylaxis of pets, farm animals. It is best to do this once every 90 days for walking animals. For pets, prevention is carried out every six months.
  6. You need to swim only in proven reservoirs.
  7. Meat and fish products can be used for food only after they have undergone complete heat treatment.
  8. Wash vegetables and fruits thoroughly. Root crops are first cleaned of stuck earth, then rinsed and peeled.
  9. It is not recommended to use dirty dishes. For hiking, it is better to purchase disposable appliances.
  10. Cesspools and waste water should be located away from houses and drinking sources in accordance with sanitary standards.
  11. Hands should be washed regularly. Antibacterial soaps do not kill eggs and larvae of worms or even remove them. Children need to cut their nails short.
  12. Each person should have their own linen, as well as bedding. If the work takes place on a rotational basis, then it is necessary to thermally treat the linen by ironing.

Knowledge about nematodes and how to deal with them will help prevent disease or complications.

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