The hookworm is a nematode parasite that lives in the small intestine of its host, which may be a mammal such as a dog, cat, or human.
Two species of hookworms commonly infect humans, Ancylostoma duodenale and Necator americanus.
Hookworms are leading causes of maternal and child morbidity in the developing countries of the tropics and subtropics.
In susceptible children hookworms cause intellectual, cognitive and growth retardation, intrauterine growth retardation, prematurity, and low birth weight among newborns born to infected mothers.
Hookworm infection is rarely fatal, but anemia can be significant in the heavily infected individual.