Encyclopedia of Parasitology

2016 Edition
| Editors: Heinz Mehlhorn

Swimmer’s Itch

  • Christian Selbach
  • Bernd SuresEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-662-43978-4_3501

Synonyms

Cercarial dermatitis

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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References

  1. Haas W (1992) Physiological analysis of cercarial behavior. J Parasitol 78:243–255PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Horák P, Kolářová L (2001) Bird schistosomes: do they die in mammalian skin? Trends Parasitol 17:66–69PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Horák P, Kolářová L (2011) Snails, waterfowl and cercarial dermatitis. Freshw Biol 56:779–790CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Horák P, Kolářová L, Adema C (2002) Biology of the schistosome genus Trichobilharzia. Adv Parasitol 52:155–233PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Soldanova M, Selbach C, Sures B, Kostadinova A, Perez-Del-Olmo A (2010) Larval trematode communities in Radix auricularia and Lymnaea stagnalis in a reservoir system of the Ruhr River. Parasit Vectors 3:56PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Soldánová M, Selbach C, Kalbe M, Kostadinova A, Sures B (2013) Swimmer’s itch: etiology, impact, and risk factors in Europe. Trends Parasitol 29:65–74PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Aquatic EcologyUniversity of Duisburg-EssenEssenGermany