You are on page 1of 14


Came from the Greek words:

‘Nema’ - thread
‘Eidos’ - form
The Nematodes are also called
‘round worms’.
They are one of the most common
phyla of animals, with 80,000
different described species (of which
over 15,000 are parasitic).
They are ubiquitous in freshwater,
marine, and terrestrial environments,
and are found in locations as diverse as
Antarctica and oceanic trenches.
Structure and Function in
 Nematodes are cylindrical,
unsegmented worms with bilateral
An important difference between
nematodes and flatworms is the presence
of a one-way, complete digestive system.
Wastes leave the body through a
separate opening at the posterior
A one-way digestive tract enabled
the evolution of specialized areas of
the digestive system.
The digestive tract of a nematode
consists of a mouth, a muscular pharynx,
a long intestine, and an anus.
A one way digestive tract is capable of carrying
out more complete digestion of food than a two-
way tract.
Another way nematodes and
flatworms is that nematodes have a
*A pseudocoelom is a partially lined
body cavity.

The fluid-filled pseudocoelom makes

a roundworm’s body rigid and serves
as a hydrostatic skeleton.
Nematodes cannot regenerate or
reproduce asexually in any way. They
can only reproduce sexually.
Unlike flatworms, nematodes are
usually not hermaphroditic.
Most species have separate male and
female animals, and eggs are fertilized
inside the female’s body.
Like parasitic flatworms, parasitic
nematodes usually have complex life
cycles with 2 or more hosts.
Nematodes are commonly parasitic on
humans include whipworms, hookworms,
pinworms, ascarids, and filarids.

The specie Trichinella

spiralis, commonly
known as the trichina
worm, occurs in rats,
pigs, and humans, and
is responsible for the
disease trichinosis.
Baylisascaris infests wild animals
and can be deadly to humans as

Haemonchus contortus is
one of the most abundant
infectious agents in sheep
around the world, causing
great economic damage
to sheep farms.
In contrast, entomopathogenic
nematodes parasitize insects and are
considered by humans to be beneficial.
Plant parasitic nematodes include several
groups causing severe crop losses.

The most common genre are:

Aphelenchoides (foliar nematodes),
Meloidogyne (root-knot nematodes),
Heterodera, Globodera (cyst nematodes)
such as the potato cyst nematode,
Pratylenchus (lesion nematodes),
Ditylenchus, Xiphinema, Longidorus,
Importance of Nematodes
Most nematodes are free-living and
harmless. However, the most notorious
nematodes are the ones that are
parasites of plants and animals.
Parasitic nematodes cause serious
diseases in humans, livestock, pets,
and crops.
Researchers estimate that worldwide
there are a billion active roundworm
infection in humans.