Hookworm Disease

Jerzy M Behnke, Department of Life Science, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK

In its widest context, the term 'hookworm disease' may be applied to any of the pathologic consequences resulting from infection by hookworms, i.e. nematode parasites from the family Ancylostomati-dae. More specifically, the term is used in a restricted sense in reference to hypochromic, microcytic, iron-deficiency anemia, the principal manifestation of pathology in humans. Since the disease is entirely dependent on the presence of adult hookworms in the small intestine and the blood loss resulting from their feeding activities, resistance to hookworm disease is reliant on host-protective immune responses against the parasites.

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