- A genus of nematodes (superfamily Dracunculoidea) that have some resemblances to true filarial worms; however, adults are larger (females being as long as 1 m), and the intermediate host is a freshwater crustacean rather than an insect. [L. dim. of draco, serpent]- D. medinensis a species of skin-infecting, yard-long nematodes, formerly incorrectly classed as Filaria; adult worms live anywhere in the body of humans and various semi-aquatic mammals; the females migrate along fascial planes to subcutaneous tissues, where troublesome chronic ulcers are formed in the skin; when the host enters water, larvae are discharged from the ulcers, from which the head of the female worm protrudes; these larvae, if ingested by Cyclops species, develop in the intermediate host to the infective stage; humans and various animals contract the infection from accidental ingestion of infected Cyclops in drinking water. Popularly known as guinea, Medina, serpent, or dragon worm, and frequently thought to be the “fiery serpent” that plagued the Israelites. [L. of Medina]- D. persarum old term for D. medinensis. [L. of the Persians]
* * *Dra·cun·cu·lus drə-'kəŋ-kyə-ləs n a genus (the type of the family Dracunculidae) of greatly elongated nematode worms including the guinea worm
* * *n.
* * *Dra·cun·cu·lus (drə-kungґku-ləs) [L. â€œlittle dragonâ€] a genus of nematode parasites of the family Dracunculidae.
Medical dictionary. 2011.