Dracunculus medinensis

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This article is about the parasite. For the disease, see Dracunculiasis.
Guinea worm
Dracunculus medinensis larvae.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Nematoda
Class: Secernentea
Order: Camallanida
Superfamily: Dracunculoidea
Family: Dracunculidae
Genus: Dracunculus
Species: D. medinensis
Binomial name
Dracunculus medinensis
(Linnaeus, 1758)

Gordius medinensis Linnaeus, 1758

Dracunculus medinensis or Guinea worm is a nematode that causes dracunculiasis, also known as guinea worm disease.[1] The disease is caused by the large female nematode of D. medinensis,[2] which is among the longest nematodes infecting humans.[3] The adult female is much larger than the adult male. In 2009, the longest adult female recorded was 800 mm (31 in), while the largest adult male was only 40 mm (1.6 in).[4]

Eradication programme[edit]

Guinea worm has existed for hundreds of thousands, possibly millions, of years. But in the 1980s, a programme to eradicate guinea worm was begun, including by the Carter Center. The programme included education of people in affected areas that the disease was caused by larvae in drinking water, isolation and support for sufferers, and - crucially - widespread distribution of net filters and pipe filters for drinking water, and education about the importance of using them.


  1. ^ Stefanie Knopp, Ignace K. Amegbo, David M. Hamm, Hartwig Schulz-Key, Meba Banla & Peter T. Soboslay (March 2008). "Antibody and cytokine responses in Dracunculus medinensis patients at distinct states of infection". Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene 102 (3): 277–283. doi:10.1016/j.trstmh.2007.12.003. PMID 18258273. 
  2. ^ Langbong Bimi (2007). "Potential vector species of Guinea worm (Dracunculus medinensis) in Northern Ghana". Vector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases 7 (3): 324–329. doi:10.1089/vbz.2006.0622. PMID 17767406. 
  3. ^ Talha Bin Saleem & Irfan Ahmed (2006). ""Serpent" in the breast" (PDF). Journal of Ayub Medical College Abbottabad 18 (4): 67–68. PMID 17591014. 
  4. ^ G. D. Schmidt & L S. Roberts (2009). Larry S. Roberts & John Janovy, Jr., ed. Foundations of Parasitology (8th ed.). McGraw-Hill. pp. 480–484. ISBN 978-0-07-128458-5. 

External links[edit]