Dictionary > Pinworm

Pinworm

Definition
noun, plural: pinworms
A small nematoid worm that inhabits the rectum of the human host
Supplement
Pinworms are small nematodes and are responsible for the intestinal infection in humans. They appear as small thread-like worms (thus, are also called threadworms) and are approximately 3-5 mm in length. They are thin and whitish in color. Host harboring pinworms complains of anal itching that is worse at night when the female worm migrates to the anus to lay its eggs. The pinworms can be seen at the anal opening or in the stools.
One way of diagnosing pinworm infestation is the tape test wherein the sticky side of the tape is placed across the anal opening for several seconds and then transferred to a glass slide for microscopic observation of pinworm eggs. The pinworm egg is about 50-60 μm by 20-30 μm. It has a thick shell flattened on one side.1 The larvae are typically 140-150 μm long. The adult male is about 2-5 mm in length whereas the adult female is about 8-13 mm in length. The female pinworm is longer than the male and has a sharply pointed posterior end.
The genus Enterobius includes all pinworms. Some of the known species of pinworms described are E. vermicularis (human pinworm) and E. anthropopitheci (primate pinworm). E. vermicularis is formerly called Oxyurias vermicularis. Infestation with Enterobius is called enterobiasis.
Scientific classification:

Also called:

  • threadworm
  • seatworm
  • See also:

    Related term(s):

  • Pinworm vaginitis
  • Reference(s):

    1 Gutiérrez, Y. (2000). Diagnostic pathology of parasitic infections with clinical correlations (2nd ed.). Oxford University Press.


    You will also like...

    Still Water Animals
    Still Water Animals

    Animals living in aquatic habitats have diversified and evolved through time. They eventually occupy ecological niches a..

    Plant meristem
    Plant Meristems and Growth

    In plants, growth occurs in meristems, which are the site of repeated cell division of unspecialized cells. These cells ..

    Plant Water Regulation
    Plant Water Regulation

    Plants need to regulate water in order to stay upright and structurally stable. Find out the different evolutionary adap..

    Energy pyramid
    Freshwater Community Energy Relationships – Producers & Consumers

    This tutorial looks at the relationship between organisms. It also explores how energy is passed on in the food chain an..

    "Cronopio dentiacutus", a prehistoric mammal (an illustration)
    Mammalian Ancestors

    Mammals are a diverse group of organisms, where most of them develop their offspring within the uterus of the mother. Ov..

    Transpiration
    Water in Plants

    The movement of molecules (specifically, water and solutes) is vital to the understanding of plant processes. This tuto..