Dracunculus medinensis


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.

Dra·cun·cu·lus me·di·nen·'sis

a species of skin-infecting, 36" nematodes, formerly incorrectly classed as Filaria; adult worms live anywhere in the body of humans and various semiaquatic mammals; the females migrate along fascial planes to subcutaneous tissues, where troublesome chronic ulcers are formed in the skin; when the host enters water, larvae are discharged from the ulcers, from which the head of the female worm protrudes; these larvae, if ingested by Cyclops species, develop in the intermediate host to the infective stage; humans and various animals contract the infection from accidental ingestion of infected Cyclops in drinking water. Popularly known as guinea, Medina, serpent, or dragon worm, and frequently thought to be the "fiery serpent" that plagued the Israelites.
[L. of Medina]

Dracunculus

(dra-kung'kyu-lus) [L. dracunculus, small dragon]
A genus of parasitic nematodes of the family Dracunculidae.

Dracunculus medinensis

See: guinea wormillustration
References in periodicals archive ?
Editorial Note: Dracunculiasis is a parasitic infection caused by Dracunculus medinensis. Persons become infected by drinking water from stagnant sources (e.g., ponds, open wells, or pools) contaminated by copepods (water fleas) that contain immature forms of the parasite.
Editorial Note: Dracunculiasis is a parasitic infection caused by Dracunculus medinensis. Persons become infected by drinking water from ponds contaminated by copepods (water fleas) that contain immature forms of the parasite.
Editorial Note: Dracunculiasis is a parasitic infection caused by Dracunculus medinensis. Persons become infected by drinking water from ponds contaminated by copepods (water fleas) that contain immature forms of the parasite; 1 year after entering the infected person, adult worms approximately 1 meter (40 inches) in length emerge through skin lesions, usually on the lower limbs, which frequently develop severe secondary bacterial infections.
Dracunculiasis is a parasitic infection caused by a filarial worm (Dracunculus medinensis [i.e., Guinea worm]) that is transmitted through contaminated drinking water.
Ghana and Nigeria, the two countries with the highest number of known cases of dracunculiasis (i.e., Guinea worm disease) in 1991, recorded substantial declines in the reported incidence of the parasitic infection caused by Dracunculus medinensis. Provisional surveillance data from 1991 indicate that the combined incidence of dracunculiasis declined 32.7% in the two countries since 1990 and 57.5% since 1989 (Figure 1).
Dracunculiasis (caused by the parasite Dracunculus medinensis) is currently endemic in parts of India, Pakistan, and 17 African countries (Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Cote d'lvoire, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sudan, Togo, and Uganda), where over 100 million persons are at risk of having the infection (Figure 1) 3,4).
This disease is contracted only by persons who drink water contaminated by tiny copepods containing larval stages of the parasite Dracunculus medinensis. The infection can be prevented by providing safe sources of drinking water, teaching populations at risk to boil water or filter it through a fine cloth, or treating the water with temephos (Abate[R](*)).
Because of the 1-year incubation period of Dracunculus medinensis, however, the overall impact of the case-containment strategy cannot be assessed until the 1991 transmission season.