Biology

Ancylostomiasis (hookworm infections)

This phenomenon is as a result of factors such as poverty and poor sanitation, which are ranked among the key factors, which lead to the high prevalence of hookworm infections in the developing world. To date, efforts in reducing mobility as a result of hookworm infections have been directed towards massive deworming of school going children using benzimidazoles. Natural History Thorough scientific analysis of hookworm infection in human began in early twentieth century. From its inception to date, significant improvements in the understanding of hookworm infections are evident in nearly all regions of the world. There have been significant advances in molecular biology, which has contributed immensely in the identification of various molecules present in hookworms that are of significant importance in the molecular pathogenesis of Ancylostomiasis or understanding of host-parasite relationship. In addition, identification of such molecules offers immense promises in the quest to develop vaccines against hookworms. However, it is worth mentioning that little is known regarding host immune responses towards hookworm infections, but experts have noted that hookworms have the potential to trigger certain immune responses to vaccines and other pathogens (Blaxter, 2000). … amercanus in the western hemisphere. The public health relevance of hookworm infections caught the attention of medical experts in 1901 following the death of close to 12,000 persons in Puerto Rico Island. Following this revelation, the United States formed the Rockefeller Sanitary Commission with an aim to combat hookworm infections. In addition, the International Health Commission was founded to address hookworm infections overseas (Blaxter, 2000). Hookworms are nematodes that belong to Ancylostomatidae family. Within this family, there are two main genera that are of relevance to human beings. The genera include Necator and Ancylostoma and are distinguished by the presence of teeth or cutting plates that are present in adult parasite buccal capsule. In the genera Necator, the only species that are of relevance to a human being is Necator americanus. However, on several occasions the species has been identified from non-human primates. The pig is considered to be the intermediate host for N. americanus. In genera Ancylostoma, the only species of relevance to human infections is the Ancylostoma duodenale (Nelson Williams, 2007). The lifecycle and transmission of hookworms in humans is not complicated at all. Humans get hookworm infections after the infective Laval stage present in the soil penetrate through the skin or are ingested via contaminated food or other means. Continued studies reveal that the L3 of N. amercanus has the potential to invade the epithelial lining of the buccal cavity when ingested through the mouth. The L3 can survive in the soil for quite some time when there is appropriate warmth, moisture, and shade. After the invasion, the L3 is signaled to resume its development and secret bioactive polypeptides

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