Enterobius vermicularis is a roundworm parasite of the human intestine, also known as a pinworm. Infection can cause enterobiasis, a condition of severe itching and discomfort in the anal region.
The Enterobius adults live in the small intestine and feed on intestinal matter. They gradually migrate through, mating before they reach the colon. The males then die, and females continue to travel the length of the large intestine; during this time the gravid female develops thousands of eggs. The gravids emerge through the rectum (causing enerobiasis) and their bodies rupture, depositing the eggs on the skin near the anus as the females die. The sticky eggs can then be spread through scratching, contact with objects in the environment, or even through airborne dust. If ingested by another human, an egg will hatch into a larva in the intestine and penetrate the mucosa. There the larva grows into an adult and later emerges to start the cycle again. It should be noted that eggs can be ingested by the same host, causing autoinfection that can prolong enterobiasis indefinitely.
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