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The parasitic worms (helminths) are multicellular animals, some of which have complex life cycles involving more than one host. Parasitic helminths of humans can be grouped into 4 main categories: nematodes (roundworms), cestodes (tapeworms), trematodes (flukes), and acanthocephalans (thorny-headed worms); all but the acanthocephalans may be seen in dermatological specimens (see Tables 24-1, 24-2, and 24-3).

TABLE 24-1Comparison of Nematodes Likely to Be Encountered in Dermatopathologic Specimens

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