This photograph shows the front section of the hookworm, and the mouth parts which it uses to feed. The cutting plates, used to attach to the lining of the intestine where they suck blood for nourishment, are visible. Three species of hookworm cause infection in the United States, including this species, Necator americanus. (Image courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.)
Review Date 12/1/2018
Updated by: Jatin M. Vyas, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor in Medicine, Harvard Medical School; Assistant in Medicine, Division of Infectious Disease, Department of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.