Re: Bilharzia
Wed, 27 Nov 96 09:53:42 GMT

On 26/11/96 23:06, in message
<>, marc aguilera
<> wrote:

> Does anyone know any references regarding the disease bilharzia (disease
> caused by snakes)?

Not snakes - they tend to be kind of sudden. Bilharzia is a very debilitating
disease and it does take its time.

It is also known as Schistomiasis. Caused by a genus of flat worms(originally
named Distomus Haemotobium by Otto Bilharz in 1851, later named Bilharzia
Haemotobium). Briefly, it is common in tropical and sub-tropical countries
where insanitary conditions prevail. As far as Africa is concerned it is very
widespread and bathing in most rivers is not to be recommended - if the crocs
don't get you the bil will.

The eggs of Bilharzia develop into free swimming larvae which infect snails.The
infection is specific - each Bilharzia species parasitizes a particular species
of snail in which it forms spores. These in turn develop into other free
swimming forms, cercariae, which enter man either by drinking or, during
bathing, by boring through the skin. They then bore through tissue until they
reach the portal veins where they stay until adult. The male coils round the
female and they migrate through the mesenteric veins until they reach the wall
of the bladder. The female pierces the bladder and lays her eggs which are
expelled with the urine. Certain species lay their eggs near the anus and they
go out with faeces.

Any institute of tropical diseases should be able to provide recent data.

Regards, Mark