Encyclopedia of Parasitology

Living Edition
| Editors: Heinz Mehlhorn

Swimmer’s Itch

  • Christian Selbach
  • Bernd SuresEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-27769-6_3501-1


General Information

Swimmer’s itch is an inflammatory skin infection caused by the free-swimming larvae, the cercariae, of certain digenean trematodes of the family Schistosomatidae. Except in Antarctica, the disease occurs worldwide and is regarded as a reemerging disease in Europe and North America that has received both public and academic interest due to the potential severity of infections and the possible economic impact on regions with a focus on recreational water activities (Soldánová et al. 2013). In Europe and North America, the most important causative agents of swimmer’s itch are bird schistosomes of the genus Trichobilharzia with a two-host life cycle that requires both aquatic snails and waterfowl (see Horák et al. 2002 for a comprehensive review of Trichobilharzia spp.). Mammalian schistosomes of the genus Schistosomacan also cause cercarial dermatitis when infecting humans but are of more serious medical interest as causative agents of...

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Aquatic EcologyUniversity of Duisburg-EssenEssenGermany