n 1: an infestation with or a resulting infection caused by a parasite of the genus Schistosoma; common in the tropics and Far East; symptoms depend on the part of the body infected [syn: schistosomiasis, bilharzia, bilharziasis]
noun (pluralschistosomiases) Etymology: New Latin, from SchistosomaDate: 1906 infestation with or disease caused by schistosomes; specifically a severe endemic disease of humans in Africa and parts of Asia and South America that is contracted when cercariae released into freshwaters (as rivers) by a snail intermediate host penetrate the skin and that is marked especially by blood loss and tissue damage — called also snail fever
Group of chronic disorders caused by parasitic flatworms of the genus Schistosoma (blood flukes). Depending on the infecting species, thousands of eggs released by the females reach either the intestine or the bladder, are excreted in feces or urine, and hatch on contact with freshwater. The larvae invade snails, develop to the next stage, emerge into the water, and invade mammals to feed and breed in the bloodstream. An initial allergic reaction (inflammation, cough, late-afternoon fever, hives, liver tenderness) and blood in the stools and urine give way to a chronic stage, in which eggs impacted in the walls of organs cause fibrous thickening (fibrosis). This condition can lead to serious liver damage in the intestinal types and to bladder stones, fibrosis of other pelvic organs, and urinary-tract bacterial infection. In most cases, early diagnosis and persistent treatment to kill the adult worms ensure recovery.