Definition of schistosome in English:



Medicine Zoology
  • A parasitic flatworm which needs two hosts to complete its life cycle. The immature form infests freshwater snails and the adult lives in the blood vessels of birds and mammals, causing bilharzia in humans.

    Genus Schistosoma, subclass Digenea, class Trematoda

    Also called blood fluke
    • ‘Activities in remote areas increase the chance of exposure to insect vectors and fresh-water lakes and streams that may harbor schistosomes or leptospires.’
    • ‘Its descendants then spread throughout the continent and acquired a schistosome that became S. mansoni as we know it today.’
    • ‘Figure 1 presents the results for the schistosomes, and differences between these and other parasitic flatworms are given below.’
    • ‘By examining schistosomes that infect human hosts living near separate watercourses within a single village, it should be possible to determine the degree to which the parasite population is genetically subdivided.’
    • ‘These are called schistosomes and they cause a disease known as bilharzia (schistosomiasis).’


Early 20th century: from modern Latin Schistosoma, from Greek skhistos ‘divided’ + sōma ‘body’.