Significance to humans

Although several hundred reports exist of humans supposedly infected with gordiids, humans do not serve as hosts for these worms. Most, if not all, of these cases are due to incidental associations. Worms have been noted from the human digestive tract by being spit up or passed through the intestine. These worms are likely to have been swallowed as adults. No evidence exists that these worms are able to live within a human for an extended period. It is also likely that worms discovered in toilets or chamber pots were present in these vessels before use, carried in by insect hosts. Nectonematids do not appear to have immediate importance to humans.

1. Adult Nectonema agile; 2. N. agile anterior end; 3. N. agile male and female posterior ends; 4. Adult Gordius aquaticus; 5. G. aquaticus anterior end; 6. G. aquaticus male and female posterior ends; 7. Adult Paragordius varius; 8. P. varius anterior end; 9. P. varius male and female posterior ends; 10. P. varius larva; a. proboscis contracted inside the body; b. proboscis extended outward. (Illustration by Bruce Worden)

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