Schistosomas: Tropical parasite uses swim stroke not shared by any other creature

25 noviembre 2014

For many bacteria and parasites looking to get a load of the fresh nutritional bounty inside your body, the skin is the first and most important gatekeeper. Schistosomas, however, and burrow right on through. These waterborne blood flukes, responsible for 200 million total worldwide cases of Schistosomiasis, are driven by the powerful thrusts of their unique forked tails and chewing enzymes. The parasite’s swimming patterns are crucial for its human-seeking chemotactic activity – and are the focus of researchers who ultimately seek to break the chain of infection.