Guinea worm

noun
variants: or guinea worm

Definition of Guinea worm

: a slender, parasitic, nematode worm (Dracunculus medinensis) of tropical regions that has an adult female that often attains a length of over 3 feet (91.5 centimeters) and is the causative agent of dracunculiasis

Note: The Guinea worm undergoes larval development in small freshwater copepod crustaceans (genus Cyclops) which are ingested by humans in contaminated drinking water. When the Guinea worm larvae are released, they pass from the stomach and intestine to the thorax and abdomen for maturation and mating. Gravid females of typically 24 to 40 inches (60 to 100 centimeters) in length migrate through subcutaneous tissues towards the skin especially of the lower legs and feet. At the skin surface, the female worms form painful blisters from which they slowly emerge approximately 10 to 14 months following initial infection. Upon immersion in water, the female expels hundreds of thousands of young larvae.

First Known Use of Guinea worm

1699, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of Guinea worm was in 1699

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Cite this Entry

“Guinea worm.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/Guinea%20worm. Accessed 18 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for Guinea worm

Guinea worm

noun
variants: or guinea worm

Medical Definition of Guinea worm

: a slender, tropical, parasitic nematode worm of the genus Dracunculus (D. medinensis) that has an adult female that often attains a length of over 3 feet (91.5 centimeters) and is the causative agent of dracunculiasis

Note: The Guinea worm undergoes larval development in tiny freshwater copepod crustaceans (genus Cyclops) which are ingested by humans in contaminated drinking water. When the Guinea worm larvae are released, they pass from the stomach and intestine to the thorax and abdomen for maturation and mating. Gravid females of typically 24 to 40 inches (60 to 100 centimeters) in length migrate through subcutaneous tissues towards the skin especially of the lower legs and feet. At the skin surface, the female worms form painful blisters from which they slowly emerge approximately 10 to 14 months following initial infection. Upon immersion in water, the female expels hundreds of thousands of young larvae.

called also Medina worm

More from Merriam-Webster on Guinea worm

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about Guinea worm

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