Trichobilharzia regenti

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Trichobilharzia regenti
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Platyhelminthes
Class: Trematoda
Order: Strigeidida
Family: Schistosomatidae
Genus: Trichobilharzia
Species: T. regenti
Binomial name
Trichobilharzia regenti
Horák, Kolářová & Dvořák, 1998[1]

Trichobilharzia regenti is a nasal parasite of birds that causes cercarial dermatitis in humans. The species was described in 1998 by Czech scientists P. Horák, L. Kolářová and J. Dvořák, from cercariae collected from snails (Radix peregra) in South Bohemia, which were used to experimentally infect ducks (Anas platyrhynchos and Cairina moschata).[1]

Life cycle[edit]

The life cycle for avian schistosomes is similar to that of human schistosomiasis. Adult flukes mate and produce eggs which are usually excreted with the bird's feces. Once in the water, the eggs hatch, liberating many miracidia. The miracidia, using their cilia, swim around eventually finding a molluscan intermediate host, usually a snail. In the snail, the miracidium develops into a sporocyst, which in turn develops into a daughter sporocyst or redia. Eventually, the sporocysts and rediae develop into cercariae. The cercariae exit the snail through feces and penetrate the skin of new avian hosts, migrating to blood vessels of the bird and mature into adults. Their final location is the veins which feed the gastrointestinal tract. There they complete the life cycle by laying eggs which pass into the gut and are released into the water. Humans become infected with Swimmer's itch (cercarial dermatitis) when they are exposed to the dermatitis-producing cercariae.


  1. ^ a b Horák, P.; Kolářová, L.; Dvořák, J. (1998). "Trichobilharzia regenti n. sp. (Schistosomatidae, Bilharziellinae), a new nasal schistosome from Europe". Parasite 5 (4): 349–357. doi:10.1051/parasite/1998054349. ISSN 1252-607X. PMID 9879557.  open access publication - free to read

Further reading[edit]

  • Skála V., Černíková A., Jindrová Z., Kašný M., Vostrý M., Walker A. J. & Horák P. (2014) "Influence of Trichobilharzia regenti (Digenea: Schistosomatidae) on the Defence Activity of Radix lagotis (Lymnaeidae) Haemocytes". PLoS ONE 9(11): e111696. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0111696 open access publication - free to read