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Syst Parasitol. 2002 May;52(1):1-33.

The terminology of larval cestodes or metacestodes.

[No authors listed]


The terminology associated with the nomenclature of larval or metacestodes is reviewed as well as the various morphological and developmental characters used to define different types of larval cestodes. Based on a review of the literature, the key characters differentiating the types of larval cestodes are the presence of a primary lacuna and the invagination/retraction of the scolex. The presence of a cercomer and of a bladder-like enlargement of the larval cestode were considered to be useful secondary characteristics. Using these characters, six basic types of larval cestodes were identified: the procercoid, an alacunate form which cannot develop further until ingested by a second intermediate host; the plerocercus, an alacunate form with a retracted scolex; the plerocercoid, an alacunate form with an everted scolex; the merocercoid, an alacunate form with an invaginated scolex; the cysticercoid, a lacunate form with a retracted scolex; and the cysticercus, a lacunate form with an invaginated scolex. The diversity of larval types within the broad classifications of cysticercoid and cysticercus can be differentiated by the use of appropriate prefixes. Deficiencies in knowledge of specific types of larval cestodes are identified and further avenues of research are indicated.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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