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Medical Dictionary


noun bil·har·zia \bil-ˈhär-zē-ə, -ˈhärt-sē-\

Medical Definition of BILHARZIA

bil·har·zi·al \-zē-əl, -sē-\ adjective

Biographical Note for BILHARZIA

Bil·harz \ˈbil-ˌhärts\ , Theodor Maximillian (1825–1862), German anatomist and helminthologist. Bilharz became a professor of anatomy in Cairo. While there in 1851 he described the disease schistosomiasis in a letter. In 1852 he discovered that the causative parasite was a hitherto unknown trematode, and he published a description the following year. Heinrich Meckel von Hemsbach created the genus Bilharzia in 1856 to contain the trematode discovered by Bilharz. The genus was subsequently suppressed by international agreement, and all three trematodes causing schistosomiasis are now placed in the genus Schistosoma. However, the term bilharzia (written without an initial capital letter and without italics) denoting the disease or its causative agent and the term bilharziasis denoting the disease are derived from the genus and continue to honor Bilharz's contributions to tropical parasitology.


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