Ascaris Life Cycle

Parasites are a type of creature which uses another creature’s body to survive. Roundworm is one of the most prevalent parasites found in the human body. Ascaris is a type of roundworm, which lives in the small intestine of humans.

Moreover, Ascaris Lumbricoides is the species of roundworm responsible for this infection. The larvae and adult worms live and develop in the small intestine and cause this disease. These worms draw nutrition from a human body and matures over time. Furthermore, adult worms can be more than 30 centimetres long.

Read on to know about the ascaris life cycle.

Life Cycle of Ascaris Lumbricoides

Ingestion: The microscopic ascariasis eggs cannot become infective without coming into contact with soil. Moreover, individuals can accidentally come into contact with such contaminated soil by consuming any undercooked vegetables or fruits grown in any infected soil. Otherwise, the lack of proper washing of hands before eating is another source of catching this parasite.

Migration: The second part of the life history of ascaris lumbricoides is migration. These eggs then hatch within the small intestine of an individual and produce larvae. After that, they penetrate the intestinal wall and move into the lungs with the help of bloodstream or lymphatic system. Furthermore, these larvae mature in the lungs for around a week. After that, they break into the airway, where they are coughed up and swallowed.

Maturation: Once back into the intestine, these parasites develop into either male or female worms. Female worms are more than 40 centimetres (15 inches) long and less than 6 millimetres (quarter inch) in diameter. However, male worms are smaller than female ones.

Reproduction: The reproduction process takes place in the small intestine. Moreover, female worms can produce around 200,000 eggs each day. These eggs leave a human body through faeces. Furthermore, these fertilised eggs must stay in the soil for at least 18 days before they become infective.

Additionally, this entire process takes around 2-3 months to complete successfully. Moreover, the life history of ascaris within an individual can go up to 2 years.

Symptoms of Ascaris

Individuals cannot detect the signs of this parasite in the beginning. However, when the infestation within the small intestine develops, patients can notice symptoms such as –

  • Loss of appetite

  • Abdominal pain

  • Vomiting

  • Presence of worms in stool

  • Weight loss

  • Diarrhoea

  • Nausea

  • Irregular bowel movement

Additionally, in advance stages where these parasites travel to the lungs, an individual may notice the following symptoms –

  • Fever

  • Gagging cough

  • Bloody mucus

  • Discomfort in chest

  • Wheezing

  • Breathing problems

Diagnosis of Ascaris

The primary process to diagnose the presence of ascaris suum life cycle in a human is by collecting a stool sample. However, this process may not work during early infestation stages.

On the other hand, imaging tests are always helpful to determine the number of eggs inside a person. MRI, endoscopy, CT scan, ultrasound, etc. are used for this purpose.

Treatment of Ascaris

Mostly, anti-parasitic drugs are prescribed to counter this situation. However, in case of a severe condition surgery is the only option.

Prevention from Ascaris

The best way to defend against the ascaris life cycle is to maintain good hygiene. Washing hands before eating and cleaning fruits and vegetables can protect from this disease. 

The ascaris life cycle can prove to be a significant health issue if neglected for too long. Otherwise, proper treatment can cure it quickly. 

Moreover, students can learn more about roundworms and their types from the detailed study notes offered by Vedantu. You can also download our Vedantu app for convenient access to these notes and online interactive sessions for clarity.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. What is ascaris?

Ascaris is a sub-type of roundworm. It is essentially a parasite, which lives in the small intestine of humans. It grows within a human body by drawing nutrition and is responsible for severe infection.

2. What is the life cycle of ascaris?

The ascaris life cycle consists of four stages. These are ingestion, migration, maturation, reproduction. Moreover, this entire process takes 2-3 months to complete successfully. However, it can survive in the human body for almost two years.

3. What is the treatment for Ascaris?

Yes, there is treatment available to combat Ascaris. Primarily, doctors use medicines to treat this condition. However, in certain advanced cases, surgery is an option.