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Variations in egg size ofTrichuris trichiura

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In patients infected withTrichuris trichiura, large eggs as well as more typical eggs were frequently found in the feces; these large eggs have been attributed to human infection byT. vulpis. To clarify whether the female worms laying the large eggs wereT. trichiura orT. vulpis, we examined the morphology of adult worms and the size of whipworm eggs obtained from a patient and from several domestic dogs. Adult femaleT. trichiura worms were easily and quickly distinguished from those ofT. vulpis by their convoluted vaginal tracts and uteri. Eggs obtained from the uteri ofT. trichiura were of two sizes, with approximately 80% being of the smaller variety (57×26 μm) and 20%, the larger (78×30 μm). These percentages were about equal to those found the feces of the patient.T. vulpis uterine eggs were slightly larger (82×39 μm) than the large eggs ofT. trichiura. The distribution of the 2 populations of eggs in 30 adult femaleT. trichiura was as follows: 1 worm had only large eggs, 14 had only the typical smaller eggs, and 15 had both varieties in their uteri.

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Contribution No. 630 from the Department of Medical Zoology, Kyoto, Prefectural University of Medicine

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Yoshikawa, H., Yamada, M., Matsumoto, Y. et al. Variations in egg size ofTrichuris trichiura . Parasitol Res 75, 649–654 (1989).

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