Sunday, March 15, 2009

Answer to Case 61

Alasdair said it well with "Ah Schistosoma japonicum.... the smooth skinned schisto couple!!"

This is indeed a male and female schistosome couple 'in copula'; note that the female is resting in the gynecophoric groove of the male. Schistosomes are the only human parasitic trematodes to have both separate sexes; the others (e.g. Fasciola, Clonorchis) are hermaphrodites. The below image demonstrates the female (arrow head) and male. Note the oral and ventral suckers (arrows) which are easily visible on the male. CLICK ON IMAGE TO ENLARGE

As Alasdair mentioned, S. japonicum is smooth skinned, compared to S. mansoni, which has a ridged cuticle.

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