The term “pinworm” refers to Enterobius vermicularis, a tiny, threadlike, white roundworm (formally known as a nematode) that infects the. Gravid females move outside the anus during the night and deposit eggs in the perianal area. The larvae in the egg become infective in approximately 4 hours. Pinworm life cycle and route of infection and reinfection3. The life cycle of pinworm . Ascaris lumbricoides (roundworm), Enterobius vermicularis (pinworm ).

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The nematode roundworm Enterobius vermicularis previously Oxyuris vermicularis also called human pinworm. Humans are considered to be the only hosts of E.

A second species, Enterobius gregoriihas been described and reported from Europe, Africa, and Asia. For all practical purposes, the morphology, life cycle, clinical presentation, and treatment of E. Eggs are deposited on perianal folds.


Self-infection occurs by transferring infective eggs to the mouth with hands that have scratched the perianal area.

Person-to-person transmission can also occur through handling of contaminated clothes or bed linens.

Enterobius vermicularis life cycle

Enterobiasis may also be acquired through surfaces in the environment that are contaminated with pinworm eggs e. Some small number of eggs may become airborne and inhaled.

These would be swallowed and follow the same development as ingested eggs. Following ingestion of infective eggs, the larvae hatch in the small intestine and the adults establish themselves in the colon.

The time interval from ingestion of infective eggs to oviposition by the adult females is about one month. The life span of the adults is about two months.

Life Cycle & Pathology of Enterobius vermicularis

Gravid females migrate nocturnally outside the anus and oviposit while crawling on the skin of the perianal area. The larvae contained inside the eggs develop the eggs become infective in 4 to 6 hours under cyle conditions. Retroinfection, or the migration of newly hatched larvae from the anal skin back into the rectum, may occur but the frequency with which this happens is unknown.


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Get Email Updates To receive email updates about this page, enter your email address: January 10, Page last updated: January 10, Content source: Global Health — Division of Parasitic Diseases.