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J Parasit Dis. 2016 Dec;40(4):1130-1140. Epub 2016 Jan 14.

Nematodes ultrastructure: complex systems and processes.

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Department of Medical Parasitology, Faculty of Medicine, Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt.


Nematode worms are among the most ubiquitous organisms on earth. They include free-living forms as well as parasites of plants, insects, humans and other animals. Recently, there has been an explosion of interest in nematode biology, including the area of nematode ultrastructure. Nematodes are round with a body cavity. They have one way guts with a mouth at one end and an anus at the other. They have a pseudocoelom that is lined on one side with mesoderm and on the other side with endoderm. It appears that the cuticle is a very complex and evolutionarily plastic feature with important functions involving protection, body movement and maintaining shape. They only have longitudinal muscles so; they seem to thrash back and forth. While nematodes have digestive, reproductive, nervous and excretory systems, they do not have discrete circulatory or respiratory systems. Nematodes use chemosensory and mechanosensory neurons embedded in the cuticle to orient and respond to a wide range of environmental stimuli. Adults are made up of roughly 1000 somatic cells and hundreds of those cells are typically associated with the reproductive systems. Nematodes ultrastructure seeks to provide studies which enable their use as models for diverse biological processes including; human diseases, immunity, host-parasitic interactions and the expression of phylogenomics. The latter has, however, not been brought into a single inclusive entity. Consequently, in the current review we tried to provide a comprehensive approach to the current knowledge available for nematodes ultrastructures.


Electron microscope; Nematodes; Ultrastructure

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