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How do helminthic parasites reproduce?

Helminthic parasites, also known as "worms" and nematodes, are complex, multi-cellular organisms with internal organs. They cannot reproduce inside a host organism. Rather, these organisms tend to have a life cycle in which the adult nematode lives inside the host intestine, producing eggs, which are then shed with the host's feces. The eggs typically become infective or hatch into larvae while in the soil. In areas where water and sewage treatment and sanitation are insufficient, the infective eggs are ingested by a new host via contaminated water. The eggs hatch and the immature organisms continue to adulthood by varying additional steps in the life cycle. Alternatively, larvae may gain entry into the host through the external skin or a mucous membrane and continue with the life cycle.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.