About the book
Parasitic flukes are exclusive endoparasites of vertebrates affect humans and domestic animals. They are digenetic trematodes of the phylum platyhelminthes often exhibiting polyembryonic stages. Around 9,000 species have been described. Their body is covered with a tegument, a peculiar kind of epidermal arrangement in which the main cell bodies are deep and the exterior layer is syncytial. Most digenetic trematodes ( flukes) have complex life cycles, with larval stages parasitizing one or more species that are different from a host of adults. In other words, they have a life cycle requiring two or more hosts. In such cycles, the final host is termed the primary or definitive host. While the other (or others) are intermediate hosts. Freshwater nails which are mollusc are the intermediate host. The polyembryonic development with series of larval stages are called: miracidium, sporocyst (daughter sporocyst), rediae (daughter rediae), cercariae and metacercariae, two suckers (oral/ventral or oral/dorsal). this is crucial to the sustainability of the parasites.
Schistosoma species ( Blood fluke) is widespread of the parasitic flukes and is also known as bilharzia or bilharziosis or snail fever in many countries, after German physician Theodor Bilharz, who first described the cause of urinary schistosomiasis in 1851.
It is second only to malaria, of the parasitic infections worldwide. Species of Schistosoma that infects humans are: Schistosoma mansoni and Schistosoma intercalatum which causes intestinal schistosomiasis. Schistosoma haematobium which causes urinary schistosomiasis, Schistosoma japonicum and Schistosoma mekongi which causes Asian intestinal schistosomiasis. Other important digeneans are : Fasciola hepatica and Fasciola gigantica (Liver flukes), Dicrrocoelium dentriticum ( Lancet liver fluke), Fasciolopsis buski, Opisthorchis sinensis (Chnese liver fluke), Paramphistomum species ( Stomach fluke), Paragonimus specie ( Lung fluke).
This book will intend to review the prevalences, epidemiology, pathogenesis, prevention, and control of these parasitic flukes albeit described as neglected tropical diseases. The control of parasitic flukes is nevertheless crucial and worthy to be considered.