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Pentastomiasis (porocephalosis, linguatulosis/linguatuliasis, or tongue worm infection) 

Pentastomiasis (porocephalosis, linguatulosis/linguatuliasis, or tongue worm infection)
Pentastomiasis (porocephalosis, linguatulosis/linguatuliasis, or tongue worm infection)

David A. Warrell

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date: 27 February 2021

Pentastomida are dioecious, obligate parasites that are currently grouped in subclass Branchiura (fish lice and cycloids) of class Maxillopoda, subphylum Crustacea, phylum Arthropoda. Common names are ‘pentastomes’ (referring to two pairs of hooks above the mouth that give the impression of five stomata) or ‘tongue worms’ (alluding to the tongue-like appearance of some, such as adult Linguatula). Adult pentastomes inhabit the upper respiratory tracts of their end hosts (vertebrates such as reptiles, fish, birds, and mammals) where they feed on blood and other tissues. Their larvae infect internal organs of vertebrate or arthropod intermediate hosts. Pentastomes appear to have coevolved with other maxillopodan/branchiuran parasites and their vertebrate hosts. There are about 100 living species in the orders Cephalobaenida (e.g. genus Raillietiella) and Porocephalida (e.g. genera Linguatula, Armillifer, Porocephalus, Leiperia, and Sebekia).

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