Hookworms are parasites. This means they live off other living things. Hookworms affect your lungs and small intestine. Humans contract hookworms through roundworm eggs and larvae found in dirt contaminated by feces.
Symtoms include abdominal pain, colic (cramping and excessive crying in infants), intestinal cramps, nausea, fever, blood in your stool, appetite loss, itchy rash.
Most cases of classic hookworm disease can be managed on an outpatient basis with anthelmintic and iron therapy, complemented by appropriate diet. Patients with anemia and malnutrition may require both iron supplements and nutritional support (including folate supplementation). Some patients with severe anemia and congestive heart failure may require hospitalization.
Hookworm infection is one of the world's most common neglected tropical diseases and a leading cause of iron deficiency anemia in low- and middle-income countries. A Human Hookworm Vaccine is currently being developed by the Sabin Vaccine Institute and is in phase 1 clinical testing. The candidate vaccine is comprised of two recombinant antigens known as Na-GST-1 and Na-APR-1, each of which is an important parasite enzyme required for hookworms to successfully utilize host blood as a source of energy.