Helminth is a general term meaning worm. The helminths are invertebrates characterized by elongated, flat or round bodies. In medically oriented schemes the flatworms or platyhelminths include flukes and tapeworms. Roundworms are nematodes. These groups are subdivided for convenience according to the host organ in which they reside, e.g., lung flukes, extraintestinal tapeworms, and intestinal roundworms. This chapter deals with the structure and development of the three major groups of helminths.
The helminths are worm-like parasites. The clinically relevant groups are separated according to their general external shape and the host organ they inhabit. There are both hermaphroditic and bisexual species. The definitive classification is based on the external and internal morphology of egg, larval, and adult stages.
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