courtesy of http://www.sp01.com/micro/worms/images/ascaris.jpg

The disease of Ascariasis has been around for many years.  First studied by Edward Tyson in the late 17th century, Ascariasis comes in two forms.  Ascaris lumbricoides, the human form, and Ascaris suum, the pig form, are very similar in structure and many believe the two evolved from a common origin.  A. lumbricoides is a helminthes, or worm, grouped with specifically the nematodes, or round worms in terms of classification.  With modern technology Ascaris eggs have been found in human coprolites from Peru dating back to 2277BC.  Due to the nature of the worm being so large, there has been a long history of written record of the disease back to ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics which detail the worm evacuating the body through the anus, much like the picture on the left.

The life cycle of the disease was finally discovered in Japan in 1922 when Shimesu Koino, a researcher, infected both a volunteer and himself, and then traced the progress of the disease.