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(cestode) n. any of a group of flatworms that have a long thin ribbon-like body and live as parasites in the intestines of humans and other vertebrates. The body of a tapeworm consists of a head (scolex), a short neck, and a strobila made up of a chain of separate segments (proglottides). Mature proglottides, full of eggs, are released from the free end of the worm and pass out in the host’s stools. Eggs are then ingested by an intermediate host, in whose tissues the larval stages develop (see plerocercoid, cysticercus, hydatid). Humans are the primary hosts for some tapeworms (see Taenia, Hymenolepis). However, other genera are also medically important (see Diphyllobothrium, Dipylidium, Echinococcus).

Subjects: Medicine and Health.

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