Ascaris lumbricoides is the "large roundworm" of humans, growing to a length of up to 35 cm (14 in). It is one of several species of Ascaris. An ascarid nematode of the phylum Nematoda, it is the most common parasitic worm in humans. This organism is responsible for the disease ascariasis, a type of helminthiasis and one of the group of neglected tropical diseases. An estimated one-sixth of the human population is infected by A. lumbricoides or another roundworm. Ascariasis is prevalent worldwide, especially in tropical and subtropical countries.It has been proposed that Ascaris lumbricoides and Ascaris suum (pig roundworm) are the same species.
Ascaris lumbricoides, a roundworm, infects humans via the fecal-oral route. Eggs released by adult females are shed in feces. Unfertilized eggs are often observed in fecal samples but never become infective. Fertilized eggs embryonate and become infective after 18 days to several weeks in soil, depending on the environmental conditions (optimum: moist, warm, shaded soil)..