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cercaria[ser-kar´e-ah] (pl. cerca´riae) (L.)
the final, free-swimming larval stage of a trematode parasite.
Miller-Keane Encyclopedia and Dictionary of Medicine, Nursing, and Allied Health, Seventh Edition. © 2003 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier, Inc. All rights reserved.
cercaria(ser-ka're-a) plural.cercariae [Gr. kerkos, tail]
A free-swimming stage in the development of a fluke or trematode. Cercariae develop within sporocysts or rediae that parasitize snails or bivalve mollusks. They emerge from the mollusk and either enter their final host directly or encyst in an intermediate host that is ingested by the final host. In the latter case, the encysted tailless form is known as a metacercaria.See: fluke; trematode
Medical Dictionary, © 2009 Farlex and Partners
The free-living form of the schistosome worm that has a tail, swims, and has suckers on its head for penetration into a host.
Mentioned in: Schistosomiasis
Gale Encyclopedia of Medicine. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.