Schistosomiasis Life Cycle

This animation, from the Wellcome Trust, illustrates how several species of the Schistosoma parasitic worms exploit humans and fresh water snails. The parasites use rivers and streams to transfer between the two animals, using each for a specific phase of its life cycle.

The parasitic worms are able to penetrate skin and infect their human host. After a period of time, the parasites reside in blood vessels surrounding the intestines or bladder where they release eggs into the faeces or urine. The cycle is continues once the eggs enter rivers and streams due to poor sanitation control. Once in the river, they complete their life cycle within freshwater snails.

The animation contains a lot of detail and can be used with students aged 14-16+ to illustrate the transmission of disease. It may be used with younger students as an extension to their learning.

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This resource is part of Wellcome Trust: Animations